Canada Health Alliance

Who Benefits When Pharma-Funded FDA Fast-Tracks Drugs and Vaccines? Not Consumers, Critics Warn

Children’s Health Defense Team

Although Americans may not realize it, U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) decisions loom large in their everyday lives — one- fth of every dollar a U.S. consumer spends goes to a product that the FDA regulates. 

However, it is questionable whether consumer safety or the pocketbook concerns of the average patient drive much of the FDA’s decision-making. 

As a recent report by Kaiser Health News (KHN) pointed out, nearly half (47%) of the FDA’s 2022 budget came from pharmaceutical industry “user fees” — representing “two-thirds of the drug regulation budget, and the work of at least 40% of the FDA’s 18,000 employees.” 

The FDA brags that the user fees, along with additional mechanisms at its disposal, merely help expedite drug development and review. 

However, KHN and other critics argue that the 3,000-plus closed-door meetings that take place annually between industry and a captured FDA foster a relationship that is a bit too cozy. 

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