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Originally published January 22 2004

FDA once again asleep on the job; the GAO investigates a dangerous drug manufacturer

by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, NaturalNews Editor

Here's another opportunity to contrast the actions of the FDA's actions on prescription drugs versus herbal medicine. As you are probably well aware, the FDA aggressively bans herbs that cause just a few deaths. Ephedra's isolated problems were highly exaggerated and widely publicized in order to solicit an outcry that would justify the FDA's actions to ban the herb. And yet prescription drugs receive no such scrutiny. This story described how a prescription drug named OxyContin is being crushed and snorted by druggies to achieve a heroin-like high. Furthermore, the company making OxyContin distributed promotional videos to doctors that contained all sorts of unsubstantiated claims, such as the claim that fewer than 1% of users become addicted to the drug (many doctors would strongly argue with that).

So how is the FDA acting to protect the U.S. public against this heroin-like drug that's being improperly marketed across the country? It isn't. The investigation was conducted by the General Accounting Office (GAO), which had to actually yank the FDA's chain to get the agency to take a look at this drug. And now, six years after the drug was first introduced, the FDA has taken no steps whatsoever against the makers of OxyContin.

This is stunning news: the GAO, which is perhaps one of the last remaining honest departments in the federal government, is doing the FDA's job! That's why I'm a strong advocate of FDA reform and for creating an Internal Affairs department at the FDA so that somebody is watching over this irresponsible agency that continues to drag its feet when it comes to protecting the public from the dangers of prescription drugs.


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