'Frontline' puts FDA under the microscope

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Sean Mota

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Sep 8, 2003
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As soon as you see any group of shiny happy people running through emerald pastures, standing triumphantly on mountaintops or staring wistfully at a daisy, you can be fairly certain a prescription drug pitch is only moments away. "Ask your doctor about ..." fill in the blank.

Then the joke fodder follows. "Side effects may include" -- Oh, let's see. Headaches. Muscle pain. The comedian's gold nugget, leakage.

"Frontline's" "Dangerous Prescription," airing tonight at 9 on KCTS/9, shows that those supposedly laughable warnings are no joke.

But the changing standards of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration Office of Drug Safety might be.

Compared to other current events tackled on "Frontline," "Dangerous Prescription" may not seem as attractive as a program dissecting the war on terrorism or political power brokers, but the odds of tonight's subject directly impacting a typical viewer are much higher. .

"Americans need to recognize that every time they put a pill in their mouth, especially a new pill they've never taken before, it's an experiment," said Dr. Raymond Woosley, dean of the University of Arizona College of Medicine and one of the experts on "Dangerous Prescription."

Here's one of those experiments you might even be considering asking your doctor about this season: Relenza. That's the inhalable anti-flu drug hawked by Wayne Knight, "Seinfeld's" Newman. "Frontline" spoke to Michael Elashoff, a former FDA drug evaluator who recommended against Relenza's approval. Not only did it fail to work, Elashoff said, it also appeared to cause bronchospasm, or constricted breathing.

But his bosses overruled him, and Relenza is now on the market, with the warning that the product could cause death and injury from bronchospasm
I recorded this program on my 721 and did not have a chance to look at it until now. All I can say is WoW!! The FDA are the biggest public liers in the US. First, they are regulatory agency to regula pharmaceutical companies but the problem is that the pharmaceutical companies are the ones that paid the FDA bills and staff (talking about conflict of interest). This is the only agency that is looking out for the public interest (supposely) but yet fails all the time because its main goal is to get new drugs to the market in despite of the consequences of serious health risk to the public.

But go no further. Who do you think approves the FDA to be funded by the private sector? In fact, they are funded by the same people they are supposed to investigate. Our lovely congress approves that the FDA get funded by the industry they are supposed to regulate. Isn't this wonderful? A good of example of MONEY TALKS AND ... WALKS....
Your comments are so off the wall and full of sh** I don't know where to begin my retort, so I won't, except to say that your outrageous and unsubstantiated accusations strain the limits of credulity.

"The FDA are the biggest public liers in the US."

Your source for this claim?

"...the problem is that the pharmaceutical companies are the ones that paid the FDA bills..."

Again, your source?

Since you are a moderator I hold you to a higher standard than the average contributor here. Stop making unsubstantiated assertions and wild accusations you can't back up.
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