Imitation is the Lowest Form of Politics: More FDA Holds

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  • 09/15/2006

I have repeatedly written that the Clinton-Murray hold on the von Eschenbach nomination would undermine the public health and FDA not because of the particular issue but because of the precedent of allowing a grandstanding senator to comingle politics with public healht by holding up the confirmation process. Well guess what? According to UPI:

“Fresh from giving the green light on Plan B in order to satisfy two Democrats holding up the nomination of Andrew von Eschenbach to head the FDA, two Republican Senators now say they have demands of their own that will have to be met prior to his elevation to the post. Senator David Vitter is demanding that the government provides a compromise agreement on importing drugs from Canada and Senator Jim DeMint is demanding that the abortion drug RU-486 is taken off the market, according to a report in The New York Times. Neither action is likely anytime soon and Vitter is predicting that Eschenbach’s nomination will remain in limbo until next year. Only yesterday, though, analysts were predicting clear sailing for his nomination in a vote scheduled for next week.”

Not this analyst. I had predicted that anyone who was intellectually feeble enough to strip law enforcement of the power to inspect pharmaceutical packages despite the fact it was an important part of the war against jihadists and organized crime (that’s Vitter) would hold the FDA commish nomination hostage until he got his way. The DeMint hold is the flip side of Plan B. I won’t get into the politics or the merits.. The DeMint stunt (why not just ban all forms of birth control while we are at it and roll back the availability of the HPV vaccine and medicines for STDs since they promote sexualy activitiy among minors?) .It is another step towards the political prostitution of the FDA. Will or does anyone have the guts to tell these granstanders to stand down? And when the will Senate put a limit on the use of holds for such destructive purposes?


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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