Further Thoughts on FDA Reform

  • by: |
  • 06/21/2006

I am being cautioned not to regard the two page summary upon which most of the news accounts of the Enzi-Kennedy bill are based as definitive or the final version. Indeed, the two page summary ignores the creation of an agency that would support the creation of tools that would accelerate drug development and promote targeted medicines. The agency would use public and private partnerships such as the Critical Path Institute to fufill the mission and objectives of the Critical Path initiative. This is an imaginative and thoughtful effort to modernize the FDA through scientific collaboration.

In context then, the onerous risk management proposals set forth in the two page summary seem to be totally inconsistent with the effort to improve drug safety post market by increasing the pre-marker ability of the FDA and companies to identify and select populations that would respond significantly to medicines and provide biomarker based screens to reduce the rare liver and heart problems associated with drugs.

Instead, the risk management program is mainly busy work and studies of the sort that will never identify rare events with the certainty hope for by proponents. In particular the risk management effort post market makes the nightmare Scott Gottlieb fears — of physicians too worry of prosecution or lawsuits or too busy to comply with yet another mound of risk management paperwork, tests, followups — controlling clinical decisionmaking of doctors. It is also an example of the agency — not the doctor or patient — deciding what is best for them.


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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