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Sidney Wolfe, M.D. (1937-2024)

Remembering Sid

Dr. Sidney Wolfe founded the Health Research Group in 1971 with Ralph Nader, part of the enterprise that launched as Public Citizen that same year. Sid invented a new approach of “research-based advocacy” to get dangerous drugs and devices off the market, win new protections for worker health and safety, address doctor misconduct, challenge the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to do its job, and hold pharmaceutical companies accountable.

Sid’s body of work and his achievements – accomplished in partnership with amazing colleagues in Health Research Group, other Public Citizen staff and allies outside the organization – are jaw-dropping. They include:

- Forcing 28 dangerous medications off the market.

- Testifying against the approval of dangerous drugs and devices, preventing many dangerous products from ever making it to market.

- Winning a ban against Red Dye No. 2, obtaining warning labels about Reye’s syndrome on the side of aspirin bottles, and helping impose restrictions on silicone breast implants.

- Documenting weakening standards at the FDA following passage of the first Prescription Drug User Fee Act, which made drug companies a major revenue source for the FDA.

- Advocating for decades against marketing of dangerous opioids and demanding accountability for the drug companies who fueled the deadly opioid addiction epidemic.

Sid Wolfe Legacy (video):

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