Tuesday, December 07, 2004

FDA For Sale

LIBERAL STREET FIGHT - Today’s New York Times has a terrifying article detailing the extent to which the FDA has become increasingly beholden to the pharmaceutical industry in the most critical of its functions--protecting the health and safety of America’s prescription drug users. The recent Vioxx scandal provides a case study.
When federal drug officials suspected in 1992 that a popular allergy pill might cause heart problems, they turned to their own scientists. Their trial confirmed the danger, and the drug was pulled from the market.

Eight years later, similar worries surrounded the arthritis pill Vioxx. But by then, the Food and Drug Administration had shifted gears, slashing its laboratories and network of independent drug safety experts in favor of hiring more people to approve drugs, changes that arose under an unusual agreement that has left the agency increasingly reliant on and bound by drug company money. Discovering Vioxx’s dangers would take four more years.
So how did the Vioxx case, which may have led to as many as 55,000 deaths, come about? (More...)

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