Wednesday, February 16, 2005

FDA + Pharmaceutical Companies = Vioxx

The Food and Drug Administration has announced the formation of a
safety board that will warn the public of pharmaceutical dangers in a timely fashion. What's problematic is that the FDA has become a drug mill. In an effort to speed up the delivery of new drugs to the public the first Bush administration advocated a new drug approval system. Under this plan, pharmaceutical companies would assist in the funding of drug trials and the FDA would do their best to speed up the approval process. The outcome of this new plan -- Vioxx, Celebrex etc...

The FDA must now treat pharmaceutical giants like clients that produce revenue for their administration. As is apparent, safety standards have plummeted. The current Bush administration has thankfully agreed to increase funding for the FDA's drug safety office. Hopefully this will help change the growing corporate culture at the FDA and improve the safety of the drugs we all depend upon. It looks like the capitalist approach doesn't work for everything. Go figure...


Blogger mindful said...

Well, I think the capitalist approach works, even in the pharmaceutical industry, but you just can't have complete laissez-faire capitalism. Especially in an industry like pharmaceuticals, where it is so important to get completely factual information about the product, self-regulation just does not make sense. And when you start having companies financing their own tests, self-regulation is what you have. Good post vavoom.

12:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How about we increase the fee significantly and use the additional money to find new uses for older drugs which are off patent. This is what people at the FDA and NIH should be doing since no pharmaceutical company is going to willing spend their money finding new uses for generics. If they did find one I am sure they would make a tiny change to make it repatentable.

No comment about the new NIH rules about consulting and outside interests.

12:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This has nothing to do with capitalism or communism or any other ism. This is a Republican thing. If this truly was capitalism, then what would happen is that drug companies would put all sorts of ridiculous shit on the market and most of it wouldn't work which would wreak their credibility. As a result, nobody would buy drugs and they all would go under. This is especially true after a few lawsuits crush them even more. The FDA prevents a few deaths and a few lawsuits,well, unless the company is honest like Merck with their Vioxx.

6:33 PM  
Blogger Vavoom said...

Actually the situation is best indicative of unregulated capitalism. Claiming that "nobody would buy drugs" is rather preposterous. People buy drugs, not as a luxury, but out of a necessity (perceived or real). If this truly were a republican thing then one would have expected business as usual at the FDA, which is not apparently the case.

8:12 PM  
Blogger Vavoom said...

Finding alternative uses for generic drugs is great, but that doesn't really address the need for safe, new drugs to hit the market.

5:59 AM  

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