Rosa, Maurice and the Vioxx Populi

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  • 07/26/2005

There’s an apt Japanese proverb that bears repeating — “Don’t fix the blame. Fix the problem.” Unfortunately, yesterday’s FDA-bashing in the House of Representatives wasn’t about making things better — it was about making headlines. Could the FDA do a better job on drug safety? Of course. The goal is to always make things better, to move forward, to find new and innovative ways to advance the public health. But that would take more money and more authority — both of which must come from Congressional legislation — and neither of which is pending. Unfortunately there’s no shortage of posturing. Guilty parties: Representatives Rosa DeLauro and Maurice Hinchey.

The real problem is that industry and FDA have done such a terrific job ensuring that drugs are safe and effective that the American public views “safe” as meaning “100% safe.” It’s certainly flattering, but it will forever be a path rather than a destination. For those calling on FDA to do a “better” job, four words: show me the money.


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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