Lots of polls and pols are reminding us almost daily that confidence in the FDA is on the decline. How much of this is caused by posturing and putting politics in front of the public health? A lot. But the numbers don’t lie.
So what can the FDA do to regain the confidence of the American public? I think that a large part of the answer is to tell the truth — that the agency is the world’s gold standard — and they’ve got the proof to back up that statement. As a mentor of mine once opined, “He that tooteth not his own horn, that horn shall go untooted.”
As Dizzy Dean said, “It ain’t bragging if you can do it.”
Just doing the right thing, day after day isn’t enough. Just addressing some of the most difficult and important regulatory issues of the day isn’t enough. Just working likes dogs for government pay isn’t enough. FDA must go on the offensive, knocking down untruths, mistruths, and half-truths one-by-one everytime they are floated in the media, in press releases, in public statements by grandstanding public officials, by vendetta-driven “whistle blowers.”
All of the research that I’ve seen makes it clear that the pubic wants to have faith in the FDA. They are willing to believe the FDA. But the FDA must go out and get it. Mix it up. Engage in the debate. The FDA has the bona fides while those basking in the Splendor in the Grassley are but paper tigers.
And the time is now. With the pending release of the Enzi/Kennedy bill and PDUFA reauthorization, now is the time to set the agency on an aggressive, accelerated Campaign of Confidence.
What better way to commence the FDA’s second hundred years.