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Camryn Hansen
Camryn Hansen
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A New Look at Drug Safety – Fierce Prescription Drug Critic Sidney Wolfe Appointed to FDA

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Those who are frustrated by FDA leniency towards new, insufficiently tested and/or potentially dangerous drugs on the American market will be happy to know that the Caesar Millan of prescription drugs, former NIH researcher Dr. Sidney Wolfe, has been hired to rehabilitate the FDA.

Dr. Wolfe, who has served for more than 30 years as head of Public Citizen’s Health Research Group (founded by Ralph Nader), and who has become increasingly critical of an FDA that he has described as an instrument of its corporate “clients,” the drug companies, has been appointed to a four year term on the FDA’s Drug Safety and Risk Management Committee. Wolfe will now play a large role in determining which drugs are safe for use by the American public.

While noting life-saving drugs for heart disease and cancer, Dr. Wolfe says, "The history of the last 20 years is one of crises with drugs and medical devices, many approved despite the objections of the FDA’s own scientists." –Wall Street Journal

Over the years, Public Citizen has helped to get 16 drugs removed from the market, including Pfizer’s Bextra and Trozan, Eli Lilly’s Oraflex, and Johnson & Johnson’s Propulsid.

Critics of Wolfe’s positions argue that there are no drugs he really likes, and that his influence on the FDA will be to increase the bureaucracy and costs involved in having new drugs approved.

Opponents of big pharma corruption hail Wolfe’s FDA appointment as a long-awaited safety check. See Wolfe’s website, Worst Pills Best Pills, for more on his positions.