The Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) has come under increasing criticism for its handling of drug and medical device approvals as well as its inability to make sure that products already being sold are safe. We have also been critical of the agency’s ability to protect the public.
In a May 19th article in the New England Journal of Medicine (“NEJM”) the authors recognize the many shortcomings of the agency. However, the article points out that many new initiatives are making the FDA more transparent. This transparency, in theory, should make the FDA more responsive to dangerous drugs and other defective products. In an initial step, this past January the FDA released a web-site providing answers to fundamental questions about the FDA.
Without an honest, transparent assessment and evaluation of pharmaceuticals, medical devices and consumer products, the safety of the public is at risk. If the FDA does not effectively contribute to this process, more individuals will be injured, maimed, or killed as a result of products that otherwise should never have been approved for sale to the public.