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Under Hamburg, FDA Cozied Up to Industries It Regulates, Protected Corporations More Than Patients

Statement of Dr. Michael Carome, Director, Public Citizen’s Health Research Group

The pending resignation of U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Margaret Hamburg will end a six-year period of weak and ineffective leadership at one of the most important public health agencies in the country.

Throughout Hamburg’s tenure, the FDA has grown even more cozy with the industries that it regulates. Too often, the FDA has succumbed to industry and political pressures, implementing policies and taking actions that tilt too far toward the bottom-line interests of pharmaceutical and medical device companies, and away from protecting public health. Transparency of agency decision-making also has suffered with Hamburg at the helm.

The agency needs a leader in the mold of Dr. David Kessler, someone who will be an aggressive, proactive crusader focused on protecting consumers and patients from medical products that are unsafe or ineffective.