Tuesday, April 25, 2006

F the FDA, Part II (Times Two)

A big middle-fingered salute to the FDA, who this week made two really objectionable calls. First, they came out with a statement, completely lacking in scientific evidence, which denied that there were potential health benefits from medical marijuana. This is in opposition to the 1999 finding by the National Academy of Science’s Institute of Medicine, and is the first example of politics trumping science. The second one is even more troubling. The FDA has again hedged on approving Plan B (the “morning after pill”) for availability without a prescription, citing health concerns. The reasoning behind this decision (or lack thereof) is bordering on the absurd – they’re now using teenage sex cults as a reason to be concerned about Plan B:

“…we could not anticipate, or prevent extreme promiscuous behaviors such as the medication taking on an 'urban legend' status that would lead adolescents to form sex-based cults centered around the use of Plan B."

Seriously. Truly stunning.

The FDA is an organization that has completely lost credibility as a scientific body able to make rational decisions about the safety of food drugs. It's all politics, all the time at the FDA, and they should be stripped of their power. They should be able to provide information and let individuals (with help from their doctors and pharmacists) decide what's appropriate in terms of risk vs. reward. Only an individual can make this call for themselves. A politically-captured government agency certainly can't.


At 11:37 PM, Blogger Christeen said...

McCormick I am catching up on your blog and liked the column written by Dr. S at Slate quite a lot.

I think he hits the nail on the head with his take on medical marijuana. It is approved/recommended for a number of medical indications now. But whether it works is iffy. I would say I fill 2 chemo rx's per month and I can tell you all the cancer chemo patients put the nabilone (marijuana for nausea from chemo) on file and fill the other anti-nauseants because they work the best. I have YET to dispense nabilone, actually.

And Plan B? Sex cult is a harsh term! I agree with Doc S there BUT unfortunately , well here in BC anyway where plan b IS over the counter, there are definitely more than a handful of women out there who, instead of using a more consistent form of contraception, have become chronic "Plan B" users. "I can always take plan B in the morning", right?

Like all things controversial there are good and bad repercussions. Plan B probably keeps the abortion rate down (and pharmacologically speaking Plan B is not abortive. It's more pre-emptive :-) . But on the bad side I sincerely HOPE Plan B use does not lower condom use, as Plan B is not going to prevent STDs. And who's plan B is herpes, huh? Exactly.


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