The spate of bad news about painkillers has dealt a major setback to what had been a highly promising effort to use the drugs to prevent a host of leading killers, including many types of cancer, Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia.
To what extent is the overly-expeditious FDA to blame for this bad news? Perhaps if the FDA was not so in bed with the pharma industry, this recent spate of recalls and pulled drugs could have been avoided, specifically with either the nixing of these drugs earlier in the approval process or by demanding more data or at the very least being more public about the known dangers. In any case, the current resulting hysteria has things swinging the other way, with productive studies being put on hold or terminated due to fear. The right-wing will certainly be hanging most of this on lawyers -- the usual easy target in such instances -- but again, for those who know at least a bit about the politics of drug approval, the FDA should be the next target for someone like Eliot Spitzer or "60 Minutes."
UPDATE: I forgot to mention Michael Moore (in addition to Spitzer and 60 Minutes), as Moore is already at work making his next film on the pharma/HMO/FDA cabal.