VVUS related - I listened to the entire panel deliberations and in my view the votes submitted were based on the safety issues and the REMS strategies discussed, along with efficacy considerations. I do not believe that politics entered into the votes of the panel members.
I have sat on many advisory panels in the past, mostly for NIH grant reviews, but also for other agencies. I have not seen the scientists or clinicians on the panels being pressured by politics.
Now for the ultimate FDA decision, that may be a different matter.