Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Another Casualty of This Administration- The FDA


What do they all have in common?

Maybe this headline in USA Today will give the hint.

Diabetes Drug Called Potential Death Risk

Potential DEATH RISK?

My mother reads 3 newspapers a day. She keeps at the table a little notebook where she jots down things she reads. One of the things she's always on the lookout for is obscure, small stories where routinely hidden are announcements of some importance, especially about drugs. I have lost count, unfortunately, the number of drugs that, once the big blowup comes over the media, my mother will open her notebook and say, ' See, I had that written down months ago.'

There are many things that this administration has done that have been detrimental to the American public, but very few have as far reaching consequences as the loss of faith in the integrity of the FDA.

For all the posturing by conservatives, ALL government is NOT bad. There are positive things, positive services by which the government should provide. Acting as a protective agent on behalf of the people. Providing them with a seal of approval; something to ease their doubts about all the pharmacology that is thrown at us. There should be no middle ground - the FDA should be on the PEOPLE'S SIDE. Protecting the PEOPLE by making sure that whatever drugs get to market ARE SAFE.

Yet, time and time again, we see the approval of drugs, that have SUPPOSEDLY been through this extensive vetting and research process, that are SUPPOSED to be safe, wind up being taken off the market, because of serious PROBLEMS with said drug.

Big Pharma would sell arsenic over-the-counter if they thought they could make a quick buck out of it. Yes, I believe they put out drugs that they know could harm people. Yes, I believe they play the law of averages, and balance out how much they could make before the harmful effects are revealed.

There have been too many instances during this Administration, where those who were supposed to be protecting the public interest, weren't doing their job. Too many times it seems like the public interest, their safety and health, took a backseat to Big Pharma.

So many times that when positive news comes out like this, Hair straightening chemicals not linked to breast cancer risk in African-Americans, I didn't sigh with relief, I looked on it with suspicion, wondering WHO was behind this study, and were the results really valid. My mind went to the incentive of the several hundred million dollars that could be lost if a link actually were to be found, and who wouldn't want to lose that gravy train. Even now, after reading the article, and finding out about those behind the study, I still have my doubts.

I honestly don't know what could be done to restore my faith in government watchdogs like the FDA. I just know that this is but another part of the pathetic legacy of George W. Bush.

Related interview from NPR

1 comment:

Brian said...

The FDA & the White House are firmly in the pockets of the drug companies. The Drug company lobbyists get to make decisions and write the legislation.

Bush & Co. have also politicized the FDA, just like the Justice Department, FEMA, the CIA, and other agencies that are supposed to be independent. The FDA has been stacked with political appointees.

That's frightening.... an agency that is supposed to make sure that our drugs are safe has been stacked with political appointees & is under the influence of the drug companies. In fact, I have heard of cases (such as Vioxx) where the FDA has basically copied and pasted the supposed research from the drug companies and accepted it as gospel....rather than scrutinize the evidence and conduct its own studies...like it is supposed to do.

If it were not for independent doctors & outside agencies doing their own research, like the doctor in this case, we would probably never know about half of these problems.

This is why agencies like the Justice Department and the FDA (especially the FDA) should be completely independent agencies.