"Part of the lesson from FDAMA is that the road to regulatory perdition is paved with the best legislative intentions.
The fact is the Congress did not accompany its 1997 mandate for new treatments with any risks for FDA's failure to perform, and hasn't followed through with the resources to bring regulatory science into the 21st century.
Lawmakers also lost interest in the outcome, and now have turned their attention to raising political capital by easy grandstanding about safety.
The truth is that neither Vioxx nor anti-depressants, nor Ketek rise to the level of thalidomide. If it were so, then there would be a groundswell of calls to roll back FDAMA's mandate to being new treatments to patients who need them.
But even if there is no return to the pre-1997 era de jure, a de facto rollback is a real possibility unless Congress, regulators, patients and industry again are willing to do the hard work required to build the sophisticated systems to improve the risk-benefit calculus. This revived collaboration is necessary to make palatable the regulatory risk that everyone must accept if the new science is to make its way to the bedside."
We hereby dub Sir Steve the "Bard of BioCentury."