Where could he have gotten such an idea? Perhaps from David Graham, who mixed and matched methodologies and half-baked studies to trash conclusions he disagreed with.
Here's a suggestion: Why not let other Senators from committees other than Finance weigh in with their own opinions, studies and comments during markups and in front of the cameras to trash and second guess the work of staff. Or better yet, let every buck private who disagrees with a procurement policy or a military tactic attack the decision after it's been debated and made. That's just a recipe for chaos.
The benighted effort to move decision making out of the realm of well-established processes of collegial review is an attempt to make all questions disputed and therefore political matters. To do so increases the amount of conflict around the issue of acceptable risk at a time when the FDA is developing and adopting tools that can define risk at the individual level and is creating systems to that can respond to risk quickly through personalized medicine.
It seems that Senator Grassley and Dr. Graham believe the risk of drugs flows from a conspiracy of silence between the FDA and industry. This is a naive and romantic view of safety that sells well but ultimately places the public health in grave danger by demoralizing scientists and discouraging innovation.
Leadership and courage will be required to stand up to his attempt at scientific McCarthyism.