Friday, October 7, 2005

Medicine: More FDA resignations over Plan B delay

Dr. Frank Davidoff, an internal medicine specialist, said Thursday he stepped down from his position as a consultant to the FDA's Nonprescription Drugs Advisory Committee about a month ago. Members of that panel and another committee of outside experts voted 23-4 in December 2003 to recommend non-prescription sales of the contraceptive, called Plan B.

The FDA so far has rejected that advice, as well as support from the agency's scientific staff. Then-FDA Commissioner Lester Crawford announced August 26 he was postponing a decision indefinitely and taking public comment for 60 days.

That delay "crossed the line for me," Davidoff said in an interview.

In his resignation letter, Davidoff said he wrote: "I can no longer associate myself with an organization that is capable of making such an important decision so flagrantly on the basis of political influence, rather than the scientific and clinical evidence."
I don't know what to really add to articles like this, except the obvious "grumble, grumble, grumble." Medicine and medical policy is not necessarily filled with nothing but economic or social liberals. It's a pretty practical, results-oriented group of folk. And even those of us who came into medical school as flag-waving lefties have become tempered by the need for policy to actually work. Necessarily, we develop a fairly low tolerance for bullshit, and there's plenty of bullshit on the left and on the right.

And the FDA delay of Plan B OTC sales is, of course, unadulterated ideological evangelical bullshit.

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