This was nothing to celebrate. Beyond the debate over Nissen's analysis of Avandia risks, the larger issue is the sorry state of drug safety. If the system worked better, data would be accessible for analysis, the FDA would conduct timely reviews and issue appropriate decisions, and - voila! - hearings wouldn't be needed. But that would be a perfect world. What we have, instead, is a system that sags under the weight of commercial and political pressures. That's not surprising. And not reassuring, either.
Today's hearing should serve as a reminder that improving public health is the endpoint. Unfortunately, this isn't the first safety scandal; there have been plenty over the past decade. But making accusations and excuses is easy, and so anyone can do it, and some do. Unless the hard work begins, there will be more such hearings. And just like some medications in question, the viewing experience can be enough to give you a heart attack.
Meanwhile, there are other compelling stories to digest. Here are a few....
Military Sets New Rules For Dispensing Psychotropic Meds (The Hartford Courant)
Pfizer Loses Court Ruling Over Norvasc Patent (TheStreet.com)
Glaxo's Strategy To Promote Avandia To Minorities In A Quagmire (The New York Times)
Abbott and Thailand Face Off Over Patent Dispute (The Boston Herald)
Gilead Says Viread Meets Goal In Hepatitis B Trial (Yahoo/Reuters)