PDUFA. Pulp Fiction?

  • by: |
  • 07/05/2007
Balanced reporting or slanted coverage -- you be the judge.

Here are first three paragraphs from a story in today's Washington Post on PDUFA reauthorization:

"Three drugs -- Vioxx, Ketek and Avandia -- are casting long shadows over the congressional debate on how to update and revise the 15-year-old system that has dramatically sped up the process of bringing prescription medicines to American consumers.

All three ran into problems after the Food and Drug Administration approved them for use. The problems ranged from thousands of heart attacks partly attributable to the painkiller Vioxx to a few cases of liver failure caused by the antibiotic Ketek. And the hazards of the diabetes drug Avandia are only now emerging.

Together, the three drugs epitomize what can happen when a new pharmaceutical moves from the small and orderly world of scientific testing to the big and messy world of everyday use. Many experts now hope that efforts to do a better job of identifying the "unexpected toxicities" in drugs that have reached medicine cabinets will get a boost from an unexpected source -- the Prescription Drug User Fee Act."

Long shadows? The choice of phraseology certainly leads the reader in one direction. My favorite is when PDUFA is referred to as an "awkward acronym." As opposed to what, an elegant acronym? We all know that newspaper circulation is down, but does that explain why articles on serious subjects such as FDA reform should start sounding like dialouge from a Quentin Tarentino movie?

Here's a link to the entire article:


Let's get this guy a thesaurus and a better editor.

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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