Lawmakers Say FDA’s $1.5M Payout To Morale-Boosting Consultant “Ridiculous”

The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has admitted that it simply doesn’t have the manpower to do its job effectively. So, lawmakers were particularly disturbed at the FDA’s recent $1.5 million payout to a consultant hired to boost the morale of FDA employees – which also took them away from work for two full days. In fact, one lawmaker called the whole idea of a morale-boosting retreat “ridiculous.”

In the hot seat – again

It’s no secret that the FDA has increasingly been in the hot seat over the past few years for failing to do what they should be doing – protecting consumers from dangerous foods, drugs and medical devices. Well, now they’re in the hot seat again – only this time for spending $1.5 million on a consultant to boost the morale of FDA employees. While the Administration is being reprimanded for spending that kind of money, many lawmakers are also calling the Administration’s decision to remove employees from their jobs for a two-day morale-boosting retreat – ridiculous. According to news reports, Congressional Representative John Shimkus (R., Ill.), was quoted as saying, "To remove managers for two days to discuss this morale problem, instead of putting food and drug safety first, is ridiculous.”

What should the FDA be doing?

According to the FDA’s mission statement posted at www.fda.gov/:

The FDA is responsible for protecting the public health by assuring the safety, efficacy, and security of human and veterinary drugs, biological products, medical devices, our nation’s food supply, cosmetics, and products that emit radiation. The FDA is also responsible for advancing the public health by helping to speed innovations that make medicines and foods more effective, safer, and more affordable; and helping the public get the accurate, science-based information they need to use medicines and foods to improve their health.

However, critics of the FDA say that it needs to do more to protect the public and point to the serious issues which have surfaced in the last few years concerning drugs such as Avandia, Trasylol, Heparin and Gadolinium and medical devices such as NuvaRing, shoulder pain pumps and other medical device recalls. They say that many of these issues might have been avoided – as well as the injuries and deaths that have been linked to them – had the FDA been more proactive.