WASHINGTON -- The Bush administration and some of its critics squared off yesterday over whether the Food and Drug Administration is doing an adequate job overseeing drug safety and whether the agency needs major reforms.
In a preview of the debate to come, White House Chief of Staff Andrew H. Card Jr. said the agency is doing a "spectacular" job and should "continue to do the job they do."
Card made his comments about the FDA during ABC's "This Week," when he was asked whether he supported last week's call by Senator Charles E. Grassley, Republican of Iowa, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, for an investigation of the federal drug agency similar in scale to the 9/11 commission.
Card responded that "I don't know that we need a commission" and that "I've got great confidence in the FDA." He said news coming out about previously unaddressed safety risks associated with popular drugs on the market is "a testament to the FDA in how they do their job."
Yes, Andy Card actually said this. Do you think the estimated 100,000 people who've had heart attacks while taking Vioxx for their arthritis agree?