In a previous blog post, I explained the FDA’s complex process for approving drugs and medical devices. However, in many cases, pressure from commercial interests has broken down this process. The approval and subsequent recall of Vioxx took its toll on thousands of Americans, including my own father.
March 19th, 2012
March 16th, 2012
March 13th, 2012
When UCS started looking at the use of science at the FDA several years ago, I sat down and read The Jungle, which has been credited with prompting President Theodore Roosevelt to establish the first iteration of the Food and Drug Administration more than a century ago. The grisly descriptions of the Chicago meat-packing industry still conjure up vivid images in my mind.
We’ve made great strides over the past century in protecting the public from unsafe food products. But it’s an entirely different part of the FDA’s wheelhouse that will be taking center stage over the next two months: the regulation of prescription drugs and medical devices. Read More
March 7th, 2012
UCS released a survey of 997 FDA scientists this morning which found that while FDA leaders are working hard to boost scientific integrity at the agency, persistent interference by special interests continues to hinder scientists’ work. The FDA responded quickly and reasonably, stressing its successes while acknowledging that improvements can and should be made. National Public Radio science reporter Nell Greenfieldboyce was first out of the gate with a quick summary of the findings and FDA’s response. Read More
January 18th, 2012
In December, Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius overruled scientists and ordered the FDA to refrain from approving “Plan B” emergency contraception for over-the-counter use. I’ve been back through what Secretary Sebelius has said about how science should inform FDA decisions, and found this in her testimony before the Senate during her confirmation hearing in 2009:
January 6th, 2012
Today, along with four others, I testified before the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, popularly known as PCAST. The topic: the administration’s failure to follow the law and allow over-the-counter access to Plan B emergency contraception. Read More
November 14th, 2011
It’s mind-boggling to me that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration oversees items accounting for 25 cents of every consumer dollar spent. That’s a lot of stuff. Read More
October 31st, 2011
This weekend, thousands of public health scientists descended on Washington, DC, for the annual meeting of the American Public Health Association. They’ll be here through Wednesday, sharing cutting edge research on everything from occupational health to epidemiology to HIV. And UCS scientists and outreach staff will be out there in full force. Read More