Healthcare Business

The Whining From Drug Companies: The FDA Is Hard On Us

The profit-mongering Big Pharma companies don’t want the FDA to take so long approving their drugs. It cuts into profits and delays their chances of making money on new blockbuster treatments.

According to The Wall Street Journal, the head of Schering-Plough, almost certainly representing the sentiments of his industry expressed profound concern that “an intensifying focus on safety and a diminished tolerance for side effects at the Food and Drug Administration have dramatically lowered the odds that the drugs would make it to market — at least not without a lot of extra time and money.”

If many new pharmaceuticals did not cause people to grow extra legs or go batty, the drug companies would have an argument. But, it was only recently that Avandia, a diabetes treatment, was found to increase or cause heart failure in some patients. With a few weeks, the agency warned that the Ortho Evra Birth Control Patch could cause blood clots. These kind of alerts seems to come out of the FDA at least once a month.

Drug companies have to deal with the FDA because their products are “under-researched” before they come to market. That is understandable. Drug companies are in the business of making money. It may be the screening their own products is sometimes secondary to that.

Over at the FDA, dead patients still trump making money.

Douglas A. McIntyre