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Appraisal of FDA’s Drug Safety Proces

A team of experts criticized Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for not being able to effectively track the safety of new drugs and take action promptly for problems.//

The Institute of Medicine’s report probably will strengthen the discussion on the safety of the country’s drug supply and the competence of the FDA.’s supervision. A serious discussion began in September 2004 when Merck removed its popular arthritis drug, Vioxx, after long-term use was associated with an increased risk of heart attack and stroke.

At the request of the FDA, the Institute of Medicine, a nonprofit organization formed by Congress to advise the federal government on health issues, conducted the study. According to the Institute of Medicine more funds, people and power are required in FDA to ensure it upholds focus on the safety of the drugs it regulates throughout the time they are on the market. Cultural modifications are also required to prevent the tensions that can upset the evaluation of drugs' risks and benefits.

Labeling and advertising restrictions on newly approved drugs are also needed to emphasize the doubts that remain about their safety, according to the institute in "The Future of Drug Safety," a report issued Friday.

According to the institute, a catastrophe in drug safety seemed to have appeared.

"We found an imbalance in the regulatory attention and resources available before and after approval," said Sheila Burke, chairwoman of the committee that wrote the report. "Staff and resources devoted to pre-approval functions are substantially greater. Regulatory authority that is well-defined and robust before approval diminishes after a drug is introduced to the market."

"Nor does FDA have the resources to keep up once the drugs reach the market in assessing safety or informing the public about any risks that might develop.

"I am committed to taking additional steps and will look to the initiatives recommen
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