Criticizing the FDA

It’s always easy to pile one when someone is down. This is true for elected officials as well as government agencies. Currently, the FDA is under heavy scrutiny and criticism for harmful drugs, faulty medical devices, and even cosmetic products. While the scrutiny is warranted, unfair criticism is not helpful. Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich) has stated that a cancer has permeated the FDA and that the federal agency is doing very little to protect our drug and food supply. Stupak is leading the investigations into such drugs as heparin from Baxter International and Vytorin from Merck and Schering-Plough. He’s also leading the charge on a series of hearings on the safety of medicines, devices and imported food. Yet, a closer inspection underscores the reality that the FDA doesn’t have the resources to deal with the tremendous growth in the pharmaceutical industry as well as the myriad of food imports. Times have changed while the resources available to the FDA have remained stagnant. The FDA can’t possibly monitor the myriad of food stuffs, medical devices, and pharmaceuticals without adequate funding. I applaud the Congressman’s efforts to protect the consumer. I just don’t believe the FDA can do more without adequate resources. That’s the real issue.