FDA advisers blast agency's safety record

Five current or former members of the FDA's Drug Safety and Risk Management Advisory Committee have penned a strong critique of the agency's safety record, saying the FDA routinely overlooks safety problems associated with new or approved drugs. Writing for the Archives of Internal Medicine, the group says that the FDA doesn't have the money or structure necessary to make it independent of the pharmaceutical industry's influence. Furthermore, the FDA has known about its problems for a decade and done nothing to correct them, says the group, which includes Curt D. Furberg, a professor of medicine at Wake Forest University, Robyn S. Shapiro, Arthur A. Levin, Peter A. Gross and Brian L. Strom. Their remarks closely follow similar criticisms leveled by the Institute of Medicine, which quickly triggered renewed calls for a major overhaul of the FDA.

- read the article on the criticism from The Washington Post