Republican Senator Charles E. Grassley of Iowa said on Wednesday that he planned to partner with the House Democrats on proposals that would create an independent drug safety office with the Food and Drug Administration. He feels that the agency has in the past ignored drug safety issues.
Grassley has been critical of the FDA and has been active in Congressional oversight of the agency since 2004 after a dissenting opinion about suicide risks for teenagers taking anti-depressants was suppressed by the agency.
Grassley has introduced legislative reform twice before to empower the office that monitors post-market drug safety at the FDA. The latest comes after an inquiry into the drug Avandia. A study by the New England Journal of Medicine showed that the drug, which is intended to control glucose levels in diabetic patients, may cause heart attacks: something diabetic patients are already at a great risk for. Grassley believes the FDA did not properly inform the public of the risk and may have tried to suppress the information.
Grassley believes that an independent drug safety office is what the agency needs to ensure consumer safety. He has said he is glad to see both parties working together on an issue he feels will protect the health of American citizens.