Friday, January 09, 2009

The Whistles Start Blowing in Washington


The Associated Press reports that a group of scientists at America's Food & Drug Administration has sent a letter to Barack Obama warning of widespread managerial corruption within the FDA that's putting the lives of Americans at risk:

"The purpose of this letter is to inform you that the scientific review process for medical devices at the FDA has been corrupted and distorted by current FDA managers, thereby placing the American people at risk," said the letter, dated Wednesday and written on the agency's Center for Devices and Radiological Health letterhead.

The center is responsible for medical devices ranging from stents and breast implants to MRIs and other imaging machinery. The concerns of the nine scientists who wrote to the transition team echo some of the complaints from the FDA's drug review division a few years ago during the safety debacle involving the painkiller Vioxx.

The FDA declined to publicly respond to the letter, but said it is working to address the concerns.

In their letter the FDA dissidents alleged that agency managers use intimidation to squelch scientific debate, leading to the approval of medical devices whose effectiveness is questionable and which may not be entirely safe."

I suspect this is only the beginning. Obama is going to have a lot of reading to do as more government officials begin to feel free to speak.

No comments: