Plan B and FDA: Why Can't Science Trump Politics?
From today’s San Jose Mercury News, the following headline and the following article excerpt
Report stokes charges of political meddling over `morning after' pill
BY TONY PUGH
WASHINGTON - Top officials at the Food and Drug Administration appear to have decided to block over-the-counter sales of a controversial emergency contraceptive months before completing their review of the application in 2004, a new government report said Monday.
According to the Government Accountability Office, top officials - some of them political appointees of President Bush - took "unusual" steps to impede the approval process.
The GAO's findings renew accusations of political meddling at the FDA, which has been criticized for more than two years for failing to bring the Plan B contraceptive to market despite the urging of its scientific staff. ...
Dr. Janet Woodcock, the FDA's deputy commissioner for operations, denied the allegations as well in a written response filed with the GAO. ...
In a written response to the report, the FDA's Woodcock took issue with its contention that high-level FDA management was more involved in the Plan B review than usual. She said the level of public interest necessitated the involvement of top officials at the FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research.
I think it is pitiful that a governmental agency whose duty is to protect the public is apparently, in my view, simply protecting the votes for some politicians; another example of FDA organizational unethics. ..Maurice.