The Constant Gardiner

  • by: |
  • 06/21/2006

Both Peter and I were concerned about Gardiner Harris’ article in the NYT which depicted the Enzi-Kennedy FDA bill as a throwback to go slow paper gathering approaches to drug safety without regard to 21st century science orproposals to accelerate a response to the more expensive and prevalent ‘side effects’ of having a disease like Alzheimer’s without effective treatments.

As the Yiddish proverb goes: “A half truth is a whole lie.” The bill does encourage risk management activities and trial disclosures. But Senator Enzi and Kennedy have spent a whole lot of time on Critical Path issues and discussing the science behind it, how to fund it, etc. There is a considerable amount of attention and language devoted to accelerating drug development and using biomarkers and other methods to encourage targeted — and safer — medicines.

Why did Gardiner leave this out? Were his sources selective or was he?

One possible clue: Here’s a guy who has a problem differentiating between suicide and suicidal ideation, ignoring research that demonstrates that suicide has gone down with use of SSRIs and the role that genetic mutations play in causing adverse reactions to SSRIs and other antidepressants one of which is suicidal thinking (which is NOT suicide).

But, to be fair, he is not alone in this, so we’ll give Gardiner the benefit of the doubt.

The take away from all this: those opposed to the Critical Path and faster cures will use the MSM to shape public perception. The reality is more robust and hopeful. And as Anna Mathews mentions in the last line of her story in today’s Wall Street Journal, the bill “would authorize some resources for an FDA effort to spearhead research on drug evaluation.”


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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