Drug Safety

Drug Safety

America's committment to drug safety began in 1906, when the agency that would become the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) was created. Our drug safety laws have been improved throughout the intervening century, but the most important addition was the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act of 1938, which granted the agency real power for the first time. Most importantly, the 1938 act was the first law to require the testing of drugs before they were sent to market. It also banned drugs that didn’t list all their active ingredients and forced companies to truthfully describe the effects of their products. (Before the FDA got to it, Listerine advertised its ability to cure tuberculosis.) 

Commentary

How a Shadow Drug Industry Tries to Avoid Regulation

April 16, 2013

Behind the Meningitis Outbreak: Pharmacies fought FDA regulation

October 19, 2012

Cry Wolf Quotes

An unfettered exercise of power is certainly beneficial to no one, and governmental departments are no exception to this rule.

-
Edward J. Breck, president of John H. Breck Inc. (a major cosmetics firm), Testimony, House Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce hearings.

[The bill] will seriously affect employment and morale in the industries indicated. It will put thousands of men and women out of work. It will close dozens of manufacturing plants and hundreds of stores...It will hurt thousands...It will help none...When the ‘Tugwell’ Bill is introduced in Congress, it must be defeated.

-
The New York Board of Trade’s Drug, Chemical and Allied Trades Section’s warning.

The bill as reported jeopardizes the traditional right of self-medication and choice of remedies….The bill could very well become a handmaiden of socialized medicine.

-
Minority report in House of Representatives.

I feel that additional legislation…is only helpful to large industry and has a tendency to throttle small industry...

-
Edward J. Breck, president of John H. Breck Inc. (a major cosmetics firm), Testimony, House Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce hearings.

Backgrounders & Briefs

Good Rules: Ten Stories Of Successful Regulation

Demos looks at ten laws and rules that we take for granted.

Resources

Consumer Federation of America defends the consumer interest in fields ranging from housing and financial services to food safety. 

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration

(FDA) is the federal agency responsible for the testing and regulation of food, drugs, cosmetics, and medical devices.

Alliance for A Stronger FDA tries to strengthen the Food and Drug Administration by increasing the appropriations allotted to the agency.

The Center for Science in the Public Interest, since 1971, has been a leading advocate for nutrition and health, food safety, alchohol policy, and sound science.