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FDA Continues to Support Drug Cartel

What's more important when it comes to the approval of new drugs--safety or speed?

With drug companies paying millions of dollars in "fees" to the FDA to ensure speedy approvals for their drugs, the FDA's answer is ... speed.

Recent drug safety scandals have rocked the nation and brought the FDA in for questioning on Capitol Hill, with many questioning the FDA's ability to strike a good balance.

The tip-off, according to critics, is the increasing number of FDA drug-safety officers who are finally admitting to coersion, threats and retaliation from management, when bringing safety issues into the light.

The latest of these victims is Dr. Rosemary Johann-Liang, who quit her seven-year career with the FDA after being stripped of her independent judgment and excluded from crucial safety reviews and meetings by her boss Dr. Mark Avigan.

What was her undoing? Recommending boxed warning labels on the drugs Avandia and Actos, after determining these drugs induce swelling problems that can lead to visual problems, weight gain and ankle swelling that, if left untreated, may cause heart failure.

Everyone needs to be aware that taking patent drugs involves magnificent risks to their health, and that the pushing for quicker approvals in the name of "saving lives" is nothing but a pipe-dream, fueled by massive profits.

The New York Times June 11, 2007