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FDA nominations fuel criticism on many fronts

March 31, 2009 by  

FDA nominations fuel criticism on many frontsPresident Obama’s nominations for the commissioner and deputy chief of the Food and Drug Administration are pitting different groups against one another.

A barrage of criticism for Obama’s nomination of Margaret Hamburg as head of the FDA came from many conservative quarters, including the Catholic League whose president Bill Donohue has denounced Hamburg’s opposition to sex education that stresses abstinence over safe sex.

Meanwhile, while Hamburg’s nomination was warmly received by the pharmaceutical industry, the nomination of Joshua Sharfstein as deputy chief of the FDA has invoked bad memories among food, pharmaceutical and medical device groups.

Sharfstein worked under Representative Henry Waxman (California) who has been known to be tough on drug companies, including cracking down on medication use for illnesses not approved by the FDA and criticizing pharmaceutical companies for gifts handed out to physicians.

"[In announcing this nomination] the president decided that absolute drug safety should come first, even at the cost of the drugs’ availability to sick patients," according to Jeff Stier, an associate director of the American Council on Science and Health, writing for Forbes.com.

"That doesn’t bode well for our chances of getting the new medications needed to keep pace with our enviable improvements in quality of life and life expectancy," he added.

Both nominations are still pending Congressional approval.
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  • Bob Livingston

    Margaret Hamburg was “warmly received by the pharmaceutical industry as a nominee for head of the FDA.” This is enough to make us throw up. It has become public knowledge that the pharmaceuticals control the FDA.

    Of course President Obama is probably naive as to the long running control of the FDA by big pharma.

  • Curtis

    If something isn’t done NOW!!!! about the fda’s marriage to the drug companies,the people are going to eventually stand up and unite and revolt and further push this information to all parts of the world that they are using people as guinea pigs for the sake of greed!I would definatley vote for Michael Adams,Dr. Whitaker or Dr. Laibow as head of the crooked FDA!!!!!

  • Mike Stafford

    Mike in Midland, MI on 6 April, ’09

    Curtis, please stop and reflect for a moment. By getting all stressed you increase the risk of making yourself a candidate for depredations by those you despise. Vote wih your brain and wallet. Find those in your area who offer the best health services and benefit from them: healthful food outlets, nutrition stores, massage therapists, detoxification, chiropractic, naturopaths, integrative physicians, Biblical fellowship with a group with a proven ministry in prayer and Truth (If you line up your mind and actions with how God created the universe you will find you have much less sand in the machinery of life.). Arm yourself with wisdom because when it hits the fan (and it will) you will need to know how to proceed on your own and help trustworthy folks you are aligned with.

    Remember, in a democracy the government always does what appeases the masses or what pols see as good for themselves which never meets the need.

  • http://www.triond.com/users/beauley Lucien Beauley

    Curtis…I like the idea of
    Michael Adams,Dr. Whitaker or Dr. Laibow becoming the head of the crooked FDA!!!!!
    Would that be something.

  • s c

    The FDA has ADMITTED that it CAN’T (and won’t) do its job. In other words, science is just a word at the FDA. So much for science and integrity – and wasted money and lives.
    Since our robber-baron airheads in Congress have oversight of this tramp agency, I see no reason why anyone in Congress – or the FDA – should make more than minimum wage (an honest day’s wage for an honest day’s labor).
    Not only would this save millions, it would make it hard for our elected non-leaders to get rich, concentrate on getting re-elected or get rich in the process.

  • Carolyn Phillips

    For those of you who decry the the pharmaceuticals, rest assure that the “orphan” drugs that they spend billions of dollars to find, will be set aside if the profits are not there to spend on this worthy project. Orphan drugs are for the extremely few illnesses that afflict very few people, therefore, there is no profit. If YOU are that afflicted patient and that drug could save your life, then the expense of discovering it and producing it would definitely be logical. As for the cups and pens, lunches and dinners provided to health care workers, have you considered how much money is spent on the government leaders with their freebies and gifts, how much money is spent by companies in basketball arenas and football stadiums for the luxury seats and wining and dining? Where is the outcry for that? The single biggest problem facing America is ignorance. People don’t care to learn anything – they just want what they want, and to hell with the facts. That goes for every aspect with their lives – they buy everything they want and then expect the taxpayers to provide everything else. Ignorance and stupidity are the rule – read the rants, people. Decide for yourself.

    • http://(e-mail,orphone,anytime Michael L Morgan,D.Sc,

      My dear Caroline, I cringe at your missing the point that, in >99% of medical cases other than acute traumas, nothing that comes to us from the pharmaceutical gnomes, who deal primarily in symptom assuage, can compare with the natural approaches, to wit, naturopathy, homeopathy, herbology, and the ancient ayurvedic & Chinese medicinals; these have proven themselves quadrillions of times, with so few adversities, contrasted with the >300.000 annual iatrogenic deaths in the USA alone! This point is missed by most of the uneducated advocates of any/all gov’t-gimme-more programs,,,,,the recipients of which cannot point to a single instance of being better off as a result of this alleged beneficence! God gave us “every good thing”, and men have skewered what they could ever since! Be no longer misled, but avail yourself of what you may…it will please you, should you make a sincere effort! Sincerely, your servant, MLM, D.Sc.

  • http://www.tinypocketpeople.com personalized gifts

    Very interesting topic, I will bookmark your site to check if you write more in the future. Take care, Emily Weir ~ tinypocketpeople

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