A new report demonstrates that even the Food and Drug Administration is not free from political arguments.
According to Reuters, The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, led by Republicans, is placing the blame for drug shortages directly on the shoulders of the FDA. The committee came to the conclusion that the FDA is too stringent when it comes to enforcing safety standards, and that they have acted in an overly aggressive manner to correct errors at various drug manufacturing facilities.
The committee has pointed fingers at the newest appointee to the position of FDA commissioner, who has emphasized the importance of plant inspections. Blame has been laid on FDA practices that sometimes stress unreasonably strict safety requirements over the availability of certain life-saving drugs. They cite Bedford Laboratories, Teva Pharmaceuticals, Sandoz, and Hospira as companies that have been adversely affected by directives from the FDA.
For their part, the FDA says that the problem of shortages stems mostly from errors at the manufacturing stage that could compromise a user’s safety. They stress the need to correct problems that could pose a serious threat to the health of the general public, and point to deficiencies like bacterial contamination or glass adulteration as things that have led them to shut down production facilities.
No matter the truth, it would appear that national safety isn’t safe from partisan politicking.