Anti-addiction activists press for FDA chief to step down

More than a dozen organizations are asking that Dr. Margaret Hamburg, who has headed the Food and Drug Administration since 2009, be replaced because under her leadership they say the agency's policies have contributed to prescription painkiller abuse.

The Associated Press: Anti-Addiction Groups Call For New FDA Chief
Anti-addiction activists are calling for the Food and Drug Administration's top official to step down, saying the agency's policies have contributed to a national epidemic of prescription painkiller abuse. In a letter released Wednesday, more than a dozen groups ask the Obama administration's top health official to replace FDA Commissioner Dr. Margaret Hamburg, who has led the agency since 2009. The FDA has been under fire from public health advocates, politicians and law enforcement officials since last October, when it approved a powerful new painkiller called Zohydro against the recommendation of its own medical advisers (9/24).

In other FDA news -

The Associated Press: FDA Warns Docs To Beware Fake Drug Distributors
U.S. health regulators are trying to help doctors spot counterfeit and unapproved drugs by raising awareness of illegal operations that peddle bogus drugs to health professionals. Federal prosecutors have recently uncovered rogue companies distributing foreign versions of Botox, fake cancer drugs and other unapproved or contaminated medicines in the U.S. Often those operations will entice physicians by faxing "too good to be true" flyers that offer 75% or more off pricey injectable drugs. "They are targeting doctors and medical clinics and using these aggressive marketing tactics to offer medications at discount rates," said Ilisa Bernstein, acting director of the Food and Drug Administration's office of compliance (9/23).

http://www.kaiserhealthnews.orgThis article was reprinted from with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent news service, is a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health care policy research organization unaffiliated with Kaiser Permanente.


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