Food and Drug Administration

Foodand Drug Administration

Foodand Drug Administration

The (FDA) is an agency formed by the federalgovernment of the U.S. to supervise and regulate the food and drugbusiness with the objective of protecting consumers from harmfulproducts. The FDA was funded by the taxpayers through the nationaltreasury until 1992 when the Prescription Drug User Fee Act became alaw (National Academy for Science, 2015). The new legislationrequires FDA to be funded by the user fees, whereby pharmaceuticalcompanies make the largest contribution to the FDA’s budget. Inaddition, the law requires that the work of supervising new drugs tobe completely funded by the industry.

Thefact that FDA is funded by the pharmaceutical companies directly andindirectly creates an unhealthy relationship between the industry andFDA. The FDA has been accused of being nice to the pharmaceuticalcompanies on the grounds that they pay its bills (Wolfe, 2014). Thisis associated with the approval of drugs that could not be approvedif the FDA was independent.

Herbsand supplements

Theregulation of herbs and supplements is quite different because thequality and compliance are left to the manufacturer. The FDA onlyintervenes when problems have been detected (Boghani, 2016). However,manufacturers are expected to inform FDA before introducing a newsupplement or a type of nutrient to their products. Moreover, therole of FDA ends at a point where supplements and herbs aremanufactured and then Federal Trade Commission monitors theirpresentation on the market, including the advertisements.

Inconclusion, the FDA is an important body that was created to protectconsumers from harmful food products and drugs. However, itsindependence gets compromised by the fact that its operations arelargely funded by the clients that the body is expected to monitorand regulate.

References

Boghani,P. (2016). Can regulators keep up with the supplements industry?Frontline.Retrieved March 4, 2016, fromhttp://www.pbs.org/wgbh/frontline/article/can-regulators-keep-up-with-the-supplements-industry/

NationalAcademy for Science (2015). Challengesfor the FDA: The future of drugs safety, workshop summary.Washington, DC: NAS.

Wolfe,S. (2014). How independent is the FDA? Frontline.Retrieved March 4, 2016, fromhttp://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/prescription/hazard/independent.html