FDA's morale spending irks Congress

The US Food and Drug Administration is raising hackles on Capitol Hill where lawmakers are peeved that the agency has paid a consultant more than one million dollars to raise the spirits of FDA employees. Morale at the FDA seems to have hit an all time low, with internal and public voices levying criticisms against the agency for approving high-profile drugs that turned out to be unsafe. (See our December 2008 feature on morale problems at the FDA). The linkurl:__Wall Street Journal__;http://o

Bob Grant
Bob Grant

Bob Grant is Editor in Chief of The Scientist, where he started in 2007 as a Staff Writer.

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Jan 7, 2009
The US Food and Drug Administration is raising hackles on Capitol Hill where lawmakers are peeved that the agency has paid a consultant more than one million dollars to raise the spirits of FDA employees. Morale at the FDA seems to have hit an all time low, with internal and public voices levying criticisms against the agency for approving high-profile drugs that turned out to be unsafe. (See our December 2008 feature on morale problems at the FDA). The linkurl:__Wall Street Journal__;http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123137470811862863.html?mod=googlenews_wsj reports today that in 2007 the FDA paid approximately $1.5 million to Oakland, CA-based consultant firm Center for Professional Development Inc. FDA employees, attending a recent retreat, were shown a slideshow prepared by the company that likened Janet Woodcock, head of the agency's Center for Drug Evaluation, to Golda Meir, Steve Jobs, and Mahatma Gandhi, among others. Several lawmakers weighed in on the hiring of the consultant and...
million dollars to raise the spirits of FDA employees. Morale at the FDA seems to have hit an all time low, with internal and public voices levying criticisms against the agency for approving high-profile drugs that turned out to be unsafe. (See our December 2008 feature on morale problems at the FDA). The linkurl:__Wall Street Journal__;http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123137470811862863.html?mod=googlenews_wsj reports today that in 2007 the FDA paid approximately $1.5 million to Oakland, CA-based consultant firm Center for Professional Development Inc. FDA employees, attending a recent retreat, were shown a slideshow prepared by the company that likened Janet Woodcock, head of the agency's Center for Drug Evaluation, to Golda Meir, Steve Jobs, and Mahatma Gandhi, among others. Several lawmakers weighed in on the hiring of the consultant and the slideshow, as House Republicans on the Energy and Commerce Committee opened an inquiry into the contract. "It's a cinch that if I spent a nickel of taxpayers' money to rank myself with [Sam] Houston and [Stephen F.] Austin, I'd have some explaining to do after the laughter died down," Republican Congressman from Texas Joe Barton told the __Wall Street Journal__. Rep. John Shimkus (R., Ill.) told the __Wall Street Journal__ that the retreat was a waste of time. "To remove managers for two days to discuss this morale problem, instead of putting food and drug safety first, is ridiculous," he said.
**__Related stories:__***linkurl:Morale Mire;http://www.the-scientist.com/article/display/55234/
[December 2008]*linkurl:House berates FDA, drug makers;http://www.the-scientist.com/article/display/22398/
[10 September 2004]

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