FDA and Consumer Safety

There’s a great deal of media attention as well as Congressional scrutiny concerning the safety of drugs, medical devices, and food stuffs, all of which are supposed to be monitored by the FDA. In an interview with the Wall St. Journal, Dr. Andrew von Eschenbach, FDA chief, admitted that the federal agency is understaffed and woefully underfunded. An outside agency has said that the FDA needs 150% added to its budget in order to begin to do its job effectively. At the same time, China has weighed in on the heparin debacle by stating that it’s really not their responsibility to ensure the safety of the drugs they export. Rather, the responsibility lies with the countries that import their drugs. This is ludicrous but that’s the state of affairs with China. To make matters worse, the Supreme Court has given ultimate authority to the FDA over Class III medical devices, such as Medtronic’s Sprint Fidelis cardiac defibrillator. This adds up to a nightmarish situation for consumer product and drug safety in this country.
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