Seven former Food and Drug Administration commissioners published twin papers earlier this year promoting the idea of an independent FDA. This week, Eli Adashi, Rohit Rajan, and Glenn Cohen will have another paper published in Science that says the FDA is being undermined because of politically motivated congressional legislators, especially recently.
“The hope is, that when values clash, an independent FDA will navigate the conflict with the nation's best interest in mind,” the paper states.
In the paper, the authors set out suggestions for an independent FDA. First, commissioners would be limited to a six-year term, budgetary independence like the Federal Communications Commission, and rule-making authority with selective oversight by the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs and Office of Management and Budget.
“The fate and stature of the FDA rest in the hands of lawmakers who may be reluctant to alter the status quo for fear of losing leverage,” write Adashi, Rajan, and Cohen. “Failure to codify in law the independence of the FDA now or in the near future must be viewed as an opportunity missed.”
Since the mid-1960s, the FDA has been subjected to politics from many in congress, both Democrat and Republican, but it came to a head with the Plan B problems.
Americans depend on the FDA for their safety and the authors of this paper believe that will be most effective with the FDA as an independent agency.