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Tuesday, December 16, 2008

FDAs "Back Door Dealings" with BigPharma & Your Children

FDA makes back-room deal on cold medicine?

With the election so close, I'd hate for a good piece of political theater to go unnoticed. Recently, the Consumer Healthcare Products Association – a shill for the drug companies – announced that it was voluntarily adding language to cough medicine labels advising they not be used for children under 4.

It was heart-warming to see Big Pharma stepping in to protect our youngsters. But knowing, of course, that they'd never voluntarily do such a thing, I immediately smelled a rat.

Little did I know, the rat was our own government.

A report has just surfaced claiming that the voluntary warning on cold medicines only happened after the drug companies had a closed-door meeting with the FDA to arrive at some compromise on the issue. Which, of course, makes me ask:


The agency that is supposed to police the drug companies is actually giving them an equal seat at the table. Instead of just instituting a policy on these medicines that the FDA finds safe and reasonable, it first has to bring in the drug companies and get their say on the matter.

And here's the worst part – some FDA researchers and advisors are claiming that the science suggested that these medicines were of no benefit for kids under 12. The under-4 age limit was a compromise with the drug companies, who make $280 million a year selling cold medicines taken by kids.

It's not the FDA's job to compromise with big business. The FDA is supposed to be protecting us from the excesses of Big Pharma – not treating them as a partner. This agency is officially so out of hand and off-mission, it's hard to have confidence in anything they do any more.

I'm glad to see some people who witnessed this insanity coming forward and reinforcing what I truly believe – the under-4 limit on these medicines is wholly inadequate. If you have a child or grandchild with a cold, the oldest remedy is still the best – lots of fluids and plenty of rest.

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