The corruption of money

rightly lays blame for our current crisis in pharmaceuticals in the lap of the FDA.

David Reinhardt(askdrdave@earthlink.net)
Mar 13, 2005

Your recent article, "Who's Minding the Drug Store?"1 rightly lays blame for our current crisis in pharmaceuticals in the lap of the FDA. Corrupted employees will always be a problem in our society, however, whether working for Big Pharma or the government. May I suggest three changes that would do far more than chastising the FDA and NIH?

First, change the FDA Med-Watch program to allow for more comprehensive tracking of postmarketing adverse side effects. As it stands, MedWatch tracks only death and threat of death effects. Establish a database where physicians and patients can report all adverse events with minimal red tape. Institute 3- or 5-year reviews.

Second, remove Big Pharma from the physician-education system. Require an academic approach to physician continuing education, stripping away "give-away" CEUs [continuing education units] and perks in exchange for listening to drug sales pitches. Block vested interests from offering CEUs.

Third, encourage...

Interested in reading more?

Become a Member of

Receive full access to digital editions of The Scientist, as well as TS Digest, feature stories, more than 35 years of archives, and much more!
Already a member?