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FDA Under Attack Again

The FDA is making headlines again, this time under attack from lawmakers who said the agency needs more power to order safety warnings on prescription medicines. The lawmakers complained about the 14 months it took the FDA to negotiate a new warning with drugmaker Merck about cardiovascular risks linked to arthritis drug Vioxx. Some proposed legislation to bolster FDA authority to order label changes more quickly.

The Vioxx case is just one of many safety controversies that have put a spotlight on the FDA's monitoring of drug side effects.

The FDA commissioner said he pledged to make the FDA "a much more transparent and open organization," but was also heard saying, "The system works as it is," several times at a hearing before a House of Representatives appropriations subcommittee--which really begs the question, can you trust the FDA?

Reuters July 26, 2005

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