FDA submits to an overdue audit

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration moved on Friday to have a private research company evaluate the method in which they assess the risks connected to drugs allowed to reach the public. This is a long overdue measure that the FDA should be commended for instituting.

After the recent removal of the popular painkiller Vioxx from the market because of an increased stoke and heart attack risk by users, the FDA has been under major pressure by health and consumer groups to review their practices. The move to look into their testing measures is also fueled by recent scientific studies and claims that some of the most popular antidepressants on the market increase the risk of suicide and suicidal thoughts among users, especially children.

Although the FDA is taking the steps to look into their practices, their reasoning is not as altruistic as it should be.

“We need to have a look at what we’re doing. We think we’re doing it right, but there’s been criticism because of Vioxx and antidepressants,” acting FDA Commissioner Lester Crawford told the AP.

If the FDA is only seeking assistance to clear their name, it may be time to look beyond their drug risk assessment and look into their management. The FDA was established to protect the public from the dangers that arise from private organizations profiting at the expense of public health and safety.

However, if the FDA is focused solely on its image, they are placing themselves in a position to be unfit and unable to help the American public they have been charged with protecting.

Anti-drug programs work for students

The events over this past weekend proved that those elementary school anti-drug campaigns do work.

When a 6-year-old girl brought more than $1000 worth of crack cocaine to her Orange County, Calif. elementary school, a classmate was able to recognize the drugs and inform teachers.

It has been reported by sheriff’s deputies that the little girl said she found the bag of crack at home. However, her mother who was questioned by authorities said her daughter must have gotten the drugs while trick-or-treating during Halloween.

While it is unfortunate that something like this happened, it should send a resounding message to school districts throughout the country that these campaign initiatives are not outmoded. Anti-drug initiatives still deserve some sort of place within grade schools.

The majority of criticism over anti-drug campaigns not working comes from teenagers anyway. Many of them are cynical about anything that appears to be informing teens about what is not good for them.

However, in the wake of this incident proves their arguments have proven fruitless.