Step Up to Debar

  • by: |
  • 02/12/2008
According to the Pink Sheet:

"The integrity of FDA's drug approval process is being undermined by the agency's failure to actively and consistently prohibit participation by companies and individuals previously convicted of crimes associated with drug approval, the House Energy and Commerce Committee's minority staff concludes in a report released Feb. 11 by Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas."

Does Mr. Barton have any evidence that folks who should have been disbarred haven't been? Does a lack of disbarments equal a lack of enforcement?

"FDA's debarment authority comes from the Generic Drug Enforcement Act of 1992, which was enacted in response to the generic drug scandal of the late 1980s. It allows debarment of generic drug companies, but FDA has failed to take action against even one firm, the report says."

"The report also notes deficiencies in the law and suggests FDA be given authority to debar brand-name and biologics companies, as well as those that make animal drugs and medical devices, that debarment be allowed for misconduct that occurs after a drug is approved and that incentives be devised to encourage FDA to start and complete debarments more quickly and efficiently."

Is Mr. Barton recommending that "crimes" be broadened to include "misconduct?" What does this mean -- and what does "misconduct" include?

"The report was released the day before the House Energy and Commerce Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee hearings on a fraudulent clinical trial conducted for Sanofi-Aventis' antibiotic Ketek."

Clearly the timing of the report is coincidental.

Center for Medicine in the Public Interest is a nonprofit, non-partisan organization promoting innovative solutions that advance medical progress, reduce health disparities, extend life and make health care more affordable, preventive and patient-centered. CMPI also provides the public, policymakers and the media a reliable source of independent scientific analysis on issues ranging from personalized medicine, food and drug safety, health care reform and comparative effectiveness.

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