Who can you trust?

This article doesn’t have anything specifically to do with birth, but is instead about knee replacements. However, it tangentially affects every medical decision in this country. The FDA has admitted that it approved a knee replacement device that doesn’t work. The agency’s scientists said it didn’t work, but approved it anyway. It was a political decision, not a medical decision. You see, the New Jersey company that made the device gave contributions to the state’s two Senators and Representatives, who then put pressure on the FDA to approve the device.

In a new report, FDA cited pressure from senators Robert Menendez and Frank R. Lautenberg and representatives Frank Pallone Jr. and Steven R. Rothman as a decisive factor in gaining approval: “The Director of FDA’s Office of Legislation described the pressure from the [Capitol] Hill as the most extreme he had seen and the agency’s acquiescence to the Company’s demands for access to the Commissioner and other officials in the Commissioner’s office as unprecedented in his experience.”

As Marty McFly said in Back to the Future, watching a model of the car he will be riding burst into flames, “You’re not instilling me with a lot of confidence, Doc!”

It makes me wonder what other decisions have been made — by the FDA as well as others — that were likewise not based on the facts.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: