FDA chief defends collaboration in drug development

With the safety record of the FDA back in the spotlight due to the controversy over Avandia, FDA Commissioner Andrew Von Eschenbach was put on the defensive during a recent press conference as he insisted that a close working relationship with drug developers will create a safer drug system. Von Eschenbach was trying to explain that the agency is working to create a system that can do better than approve one out of every 10 prospective new drug that goes into testing.

"This is a collaboration, but it's not just a collaboration with drug companies, it's a collaboration with academia and with other agencies," Von Eschenbach said. "Everyone is an important stake holder and that's the point: we need to not be exclusive of any one of the important parts of the collaborative effort."

- check out the AP report on Von Eschenbach