Health Research Group Publications
Founded in 1971 by Sidney Wolfe, M.D. and Ralph Nader, Public Citizen’s Health Research Group promotes research-based, system-wide changes in health-care policy and drug safety. The work that we have done since 1995 is listed on this page in chronological order.
At a press conference unveiling a comprehensive proposal to ensure universal access to safe, innovative, and affordable medications that was published in the British Medical Journal, Dr. Sidney Wolfe highlighted three situations related to the pharmaceutical system that undermine public health.
Public Citizen applauds the decision by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General to look into the serious allegations that National Institutes of Health officials orchestrated a campaign to obtain funding from alcoholic beverage manufacturers to fund a $100 million National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism study that is intended to assess the cardiovascular health effects of moderate alcohol consumption.
U.S. hospitals, most of which are nonprofit, are mired in a toxic cycle that rewards bad behavior from their leaders, neglects patient needs and promotes an obsession with increasing profits, according to an editorial by Public Citizen Health Research Group founder and senior adviser, Dr. Sidney Wolfe, and colleagues Drs. Steffie Woolhandler and David Himmelstein at the City University of New York at Hunter College, published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine. The editorial is in response to an article by researchers Dan Ly and David Cutler, who examined how successful hospitals improved operating margins and patient care.
Public Citizen called on the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to launch a formal investigation into the conduct of Dr. Ronny Lynn Jackson who, according to recent media reports, has a history of “casually dispensing Ambien for sleep and Provigil for arousal, both of which are dangerous controlled substances with a potential for addiction.” If true, such conduct would be “illegal” according to a spokesperson for the DEA and would warrant immediate revocation of Dr. Jackson’s DEA registration.
Public Citizen called on the Virginia Board of Medicine to launch a formal investigation into the medical practice of Dr. Ronny Lynn Jackson who, according to recent media reports, has a history of "casually dispensing Ambien for sleep and Provigil for arousal, both of which are dangerous controlled substances with a potential for addiction." If true, such conduct would represent unethical and dangerous medical practice and warrant immediate revocation of Dr. Jackson’s Virginia medical license.
In testimony before a meeting of the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA’s) Arthritis Advisory Committee and Drug Safety and Risk Management Advisory Committee, Public Citizen argued that because of the major limitations of the PRECISION trial, no meaningful conclusions can be drawn from the trial regarding the cardiovascular safety of celecoxib relative to ibuprofen and naproxen.
Published in Open Access Journal of Clinical Trials, our study found that the use of placebos in clinical trials testing new drugs for life-threatening diseases for which treatments proven to be effective are already available is widespread and can put human subjects at increased risk of harm.
In testimony before a meeting of the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA’s) Arthritis Advisory Committee, Public Citizen urged the committee to recommend that the FDA reject Eli Lilly and Company’s new drug application for baricitinib for treatment of rheumatoid arthritis because it lacks any unique benefit over the very similar FDA-approved drug tofacitinib but causes unique life-threatening harms.
Public Citizen and 13 other groups sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary urging him to request that the HHS Inspector General launch an investigation into the conduct of National Institutes of Health (NIH) officials who allegedly were involved in soliciting donations from alcoholic beverage companies to fund a major study that is intended to assess the health effects of moderate alcohol consumption.
Public Citizen calls on the Louisiana State Legislature to reject Senate Bill No. 286 because it would seriously compromise patient safety in Louisiana. In particular, multiple provisions of the proposed legislation would substantially impede the Louisiana State Board of Medical Examiners’ ability to appropriately investigate allegations of physician incompetence or unprofessional conduct and thereby to protect the public from dangerous doctors.