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Industry embraces FDA reform

Helen Palmer Sep 26, 2006
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MARK AUSTIN THOMAS: First a report by the Institute of Medicine said the Food & Drug Administration is under-funded and can’t do its job adequately. Now groups representing consumers and industry have created the “Coalition for a Stronger FDA.” What does business hope to get from a stronger FDA? Helen Palmer reports from the Health Desk at WGBH.


HELEN PALMER: The Biotechnology Industry Organization is a founding member of this new coalition. Its president Jim Greenwood says a stronger FDA could help biotech drugs and devices get to market faster.

JIM GREENWOOD: If you want to have safe food and you want to have safe drugs and safe medical devices, you have to have sufficient staff to do the inspections and to review these very complicated sets of data that come with the application.

Greenwood says the public distrusts the FDA partly because the drug and biotech industries help fund it.

The stronger agency would get more of its cash from government to increase its independence.

The food manufacturers trade group is another founding member. Does spokesman Brian Kennedy think a stronger FDA would bring tougher oversight to the food industry?

BRIAN KENNEDY: We have every confidence that whatever policy decisions FDA makes they’re going to be science-based.

Kennedy says they too will be lobbying Congress to get more dollars for the cash-strapped FDA.

In Boston, I’m Helen Palmer for Marketplace.

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