The FDA Is Hooked on Drug Money

There is an inherent conflict of interest in the Food and Drug Administration’s relationship with pharmaceutical companies that endangers the lives of millions of Americans.  The FDA has been giving the green light to more and more dangerous drugs. 

Why? Because the FDA relies on a user fee system that has drug companies pay the agency to have their products reviewed.  How can the agency objectively review drugs and rigorously protect public health when they are taking money from the companies whose products they regulate?  They can’t.

As we mention in our letter to lawmakers, user fees have left behind a trail of banned drugs – and patients who have been needlessly killed or injured by them: Vioxx, Bextra, Tigan and Zelnorm . . .

Pending bills – including the Prescription Drug User Fee Act – contain some laudable provisions but would keep the FDA hooked on money from drug companies.  Some claim that the user fees are a “necessary evil.”  Not so.  Congress must end the FDA dependence on drug company money and instead properly fund the agency through the general treasury.  Our lives depend upon it.

Please tell your senators to vote NO on reauthorizing the user fees.