FDA Given New Muscle To Monitor Drugs

Senate bill requires continued scrutiny after approval
By Peter Fearon,  Newser Staff
Posted May 10, 2007 5:41 AM CDT
   (Associated Press)

(Newser) – The Food and Drug Administration would be given sweeping new powers to order drug recalls, regulate advertising and mandate changes in labels under a bill passed by the Senate yesterday. The bill signals a fundamental shift in the FDA's role, the New York Times reports, requiring the agency to track drugs after, as well as before, approval.

The bill—prompted by the outcry over Vioxx, the FDA-approved painkiller that turned out to cause heart attacks—is expected to be signed into law. The only no vote came from Vermont independent Bernard Sanders, who says he is “extremely disappointed” the drug companies won their battle to prevent imports of cheaper drugs from Canada.