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

While both we and our clients are in entire sympathy with the aims and purposes of the Tugwell Bill, we are all of one mind in our fears about such a sweeping grant of autocratic power being placed in the hands of any bureau or department of government.

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An advertising executive that represented the proprietary industry.

If this bill should become law, we will be forced to cancel immediately every line of advertising.

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One patent-medicine maker (unnamed) had written to multiple newspapers with the warning.

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

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

The proposal is…apparently directed against an uncooperative small minority, yet, these are the exactly the businesses that would be least likely to maintain adequate or accurate records. Thus, the privacy of the great majority of respectable businessmen is to be prejudicially invaded because of the misbehavior of a small minority….It cannot be too strongly stated that inspection of these factories as provided by this section , by outsiders, can expose to the world trade secrets….This technology is, in the truest sense, the property of its owners.

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Franklin Depew, Chairman of the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic section of the New York Bar Association, Testimony, House Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce. (From the June 19-22, 1962)

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.