Sweeping Changes in Store
It happens in small steps, but every day we learn another bit about the changes the Hamburg/Sharfstein team are bringing to an FDA saddled in dysfunction, corruption, and incapacity. Most recently, they have announced a program that would bring much more transparency to decisons on NDAs and applications for new indications that could unearth material on drugs and devices that are normally not surfaced except in litigation. Read about it in the New York Times:
After years of having to put up with an FDA leadership that wanted mostly to hide under rocks or their jockey shorts of their benefactors, it is almost difficult to believe we are seeing this much change. I still wonder how many dead-enders there are who will offer pockets of resistance--and maybe more--as reform goes on. Old and corrupt regimes die hard, as the last eight years have taught us, even at their most grotesque.
One interesting tidbit I didn't know. After the scam around the CLASS study was uncovered, and JAMA learned that it had been given the only part of the data set, the journal explicitly disowned the article. Neverthless, detailers continued to use it to sell Celebrex. I never get tired of quoting what Bob Temple said at the time: That the hype from the JAMA article will always have greater impact than our labeling does.