Posted by: Salvatore J. Zambri, founding partner
In a story appearing on over 100 news websites, the AP (6/23, Perrone) reports that the FDA “is reviewing only a fraction of foreign drug trials, as companies increasingly move drug testing overseas to reduce costs.” According to a report issued Tuesday by the Inspector General for HHS, the FDA “inspected about one percent of foreign drug testing sites in fiscal year 2008,” and is “often unaware” of “early-stage trials conducted in developing countries” in “South and Central America.” The report also makes several recommendations to help the FDA oversee foreign studies, including developing “better coordination with foreign governments to monitor drug trials abroad,” and requiring drugmakers “to submit trial data in a standardized electronic format, to help the FDA identify sites for inspection.”
If companies are going to rely on foreign drug trials, they must alert the FDA about such trials and afford the agency the time and access to inspect and evaluate the trials. The FDA, for their part, must diligently inspect the foreign sites. Of course, drug companies are ultimately responsible for their drugs, not the FDA, although the FDA does have its obligations. No drug should enter the marketplace unless it is safe and sufficiently tested. Safety must always trump profits.
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About the author:
Mr. Zambri is a Past-President of the Trial Lawyers Association of Metropolitan Washington, D.C. He has been acknowledged by Washingtonian magazine as a “Big Gun” and among the “top 1%” of all of the more than 80,000 lawyers in the Washington metropolitan area. The magazine also acknowledges him as “one of Washington’s best–most honest and effective lawyers” who specializes in medical malpractice matters, product liability claims, serious automobile accident claims, and other personal injury actions. Mr. Zambri has also been repeatedly named a “Super Lawyer” by Law and Politics magazine–a national publication that honors the top lawyers in America.
Mr. Zambri is regularly asked to present seminars to lawyers and doctors, as well as both medical and law students concerning medication errors, medical malpractice litigation, and safety improvements.