Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Resigning From The FDA For Ethical Reasons?

The latest resignation from the FDA comes as quite a surprise when the reasons for resigning were stated. Before I go into the details and an excerpt from the actual resignation letter, I'd like to state for the record:

1. I'm not really a total fan of the OBGYN website (where I found the news article) mainly because they do seem to push a LOT of drugs and don't seem too concerned with "natural" alternatives for women in many cases, or at least that's my perception based on all the links to buy drugs on their site. (Kinda makes me wonder if the drug companies are sending them royalties/kickbacks too, like many doctors across our nation are getting.)

2. Let's face it, the more women that require OBGYN medical help, the more money they make... so I'm not entirely positive that all their research is really in the best interests of women's health since there are other potential motives here. I mean it's not like asian healers who get paid if you stay healthy... here, healers get paid if you get sick. I'm not being skeptical --- just realistic that there may be other motives at play and considering the high incidence of unnecessary historectomies in the USA, it's possible my skepticism is justified. Who knows for sure?

However, they have been strong supporters of moving women's health issues forward through science and research ... so my skepticism might be unjustified.

With that being said, here's the scoop on the latest resignation at the FDA.

Susan Wood, Ph.D., resigned yesterday as Food and Drug Administration (FDA) assistant commissioner for women’s health and director of the FDA’s Office of Women’s Health. Her resignation was prompted by the FDA’s recent decision to delay action on deciding whether to approve the Plan B emergency contraceptive for over-the-counter use. Below is a copy of Dr. Wood’s resignation letter (as posted on the OBGYN website).

“Dear Friends and Colleagues,

I regret to tell you that I am leaving the FDA, and will no longer be serving as the Assistant Commissioner for Women's Health and Director of the FDA Office of Women's Health. The recent decision announced by the Commissioner about emergency contraception, which continues to limit women's access to a product that would reduce unintended pregnancies and reduce abortions is contrary to my core commitment to improving and advancing women's health. I have spent the last 15 years working to ensure that science informs good health policy decisions. I can no longer serve as staff when scientific and clinical evidence, fully evaluated and recommended for approval by the professional staff here, has been overruled. I therefore have submitted my resignation effective today.”

What is the Plan B emergency contraceptive referred to in her letter and above?

I'll do some serious digging and see what I come up with. Be sure to stay tuned to BLV Health Watch for subscriber-only future editions.

Until then... have a wonderful healthy day!

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