Health and Nutrition: July 1, 2009

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1 Response

  1. Teddy H Craig says:

    "While the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) turns a blind eye, drug companies are making false, unsubstantiated, and misleading claims in their advertising, often withholding mandated disclosure of dangerous side effects. Though companies are required to submit their advertisements to the FDA, the agency does not review them before they are released to the public. A Government Accountability Office report released November 2006 found that the FDA reviews only a small portion of the advertisements it receives, and does not review them using consistent criteria.

    Claiming lack of funds and resources necessary to impose effective regulations on drug marketing, the FDA is asking Congress to charge drug companies fees in order to fund FDA review of advertisements before they go public as part of renewing the Prescription Drug User Fee Act (PDUFA). PDUFA has come under fire from consumer advocates who say it gives the pharmaceutical industry too much leverage over the FDA and has resulted in rushing drugs to market. But the FDA hopes that if Congress approves the plan, it will raise more than $6 million annually through “user fees” to review advertisements.

    Although Congress may approve the plan, author Shreema Mehta says a range of public-interest groups, from ad critics at Commercial Alert to senior advocates at Gray Panthers, want an outright ban on all prescription drug advertisements. Public Citizen and Consumers Union warn that the FDA review of drug advertisements will likewise be tainted if funded by the very companies the FDA is charged with scrutinizing. Critics are calling for stricter regulations over drug companies and they say eliminating the financial ties between the FDA and the pharmaceutical industry should be the first step." – Quote from the follow page

    Doesn't surprise me even a little bit. Big pharma does not have your best interests at heart; they never did (if the truth be told).