FDA Commissioner Vows to Protect Whistleblowers

At the House hearing yesterday, FDA Commissioner von Eschenbach stated that he will protect whistlelowers at the Agency.  He had previously been quoted as saying that  those who were not "team players" would be "traded" from the team if they spoke out, a most unfortunate sound bite. Considering the scenario: insufficient resources for investment in software solutions and IT that would provide FDA access to safety data, insufficient spending on continuing scientific education/training for FDA staff, the need to rely on advisors, many of whom are bound to have ties to the industry, and the leadership vacuum that had existed at the Agency during the former commissioner's "tenure" is it any wonder that this situation existed? New leadership at FDA has promised to build up the science/knowledge  and IT base that will make it possible for those within the Agency to have meaningful debates on safety and other issues, and for whistleblowers to make their points, and be understood by their colleagues.  As former Commissioners recently pointed out, the FDA's budget for continuing education of staff has been cut to the bone for the past several years, at a time when the science behind cures is changing rapidly. Pharma Marketing's John Mack took the Commissioner to task in his post today. But I think there is a relatively simple solution for many of the Agency's ills.  It's called funding. Perhaps it shouldn't  come from user fees, but it has to come from somewhere.
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