FDA: Times Questions Pressure To Approve Drugs
An editorial in today's New York Times questions whether the Food and Drug Administration "may be having some trouble balancing political demands to speed up the drug approval process while maintaining its tradition of rigorous safety review." While "[t]here is good reason to speed up review for new drugs for cancer and other life-threatening illnesses ... breakthrough drugs actually account for only 20% of the new drugs approved." Citing the recent withdrawals of the painkiller Duract and the blood-pressure medication Posicor as possible examples of "an atmosphere in the agency that tilts it toward approving products that might have been held up for more study in earlier years," the Times predicts FDA nominee Jane Ellen Henney will "face the tough job of improving ... efficiency while resisting pressures from Congress and the drug industry" (7/2).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.