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

You are about to lose a substantial amount of advertising revenue from food, cosmetic and drug manufacturers…You need to bring all the personal pressure you can upon your Senators and Representatives. You need to enlighten and thereby arouse your public against this bill that is calculated to greatly restrict personal rights….We would be only one of the many drug, cosmetic, and food advertisers who will be forced to liquidate in this manner.

-
One pharmaceutical company representative to a newspaper (neither one is specified).

Repeatedly attempt[ing] to impose unnecessarily stringent standards that would leave many if not most supplement companies with no practical choice but to close their doors.

-
Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT).

THE FDA WANTS TO PUT YOU OUT OF BUSINESS….Every health food store is under immediate threat of siege. Congress wants to give FDA police powers so they can seize products without notification and use heavy fines and court penalties to close you down. FDA wants to destroy your supplemental business by making many items prescription only. FDA wants to make it illegal for you to sell the majority of your best selling products. DON’T LET THE FDA TAKE YOUR VITAMINS AWAY

-
The Nutritional Health Alliance (NHA).

If overcautious and restrictive Government regulation had blocked [penicillin] testing and introduction twenty years ago, some lives would have been saved while a multitude of lives would have been lost.

-
Eugene M. Beesley, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association (PMA). 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.