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

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.

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Minority report in House of Representatives.

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.

When it comes to FDA regulation, one encounters claims…that are virtually identical to the claims now recognized as discredited in relation to socialist central planning of the whole economy.

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Robert Higgs, then-Research Director for the Independent Institute.
02/01/1995 | Full Details | Law(s): Abolish the FDA

It is important to public health, therefore, that Government regulations should not hamstring the medical advances produced by the industry. Disease and death can result from unnecessary delay in permitting a lifesaving drug to reach the public…

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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.