FDA Should Learn From Ebola Epidemic, Take Action To Respond To Chikungunya, Other NTDs

Weekly Standard: The FDA Learned Nothing from Ebola
Michael J. Astrue, former commissioner of the Social Security Administration and former general counsel at the Department of Health and Human Services

“…No organization failed more miserably than the Food and Drug Administration [during West Africa’s Ebola epidemic last year]. As I pointed out in the Weekly Standard last year, the FDA refused to use its discretion under a 2007 law to provide vouchers for an accelerated review to any sponsor who successfully developed a drug for a designated ‘neglected tropical disease.’ The FDA never added Ebola — ​or any tropical disease​ — ​to the list included in the statute. … As is traditional with new epidemics, the FDA prefers to protect its institutional prerogatives rather than protect people suffering from [neglected tropical diseases like Ebola or chikungunya]; change will have to come from outside. … [HHS Secretary Sylvia] Burwell’s first step should be easy: Direct the FDA to add chikungunya to the neglected tropical diseases list. … The Senate should … raise the FDA’s inaction over chikungunya and the broader issue of its resistance to accelerated approvals with President Obama’s nominee for FDA commissioner, Dr. Robert Califf…” (11/9).

The KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report summarized news and information on global health policy from hundreds of sources, from May 2009 through December 2020. All summaries are archived and available via search.

The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation Headquarters: 185 Berry St., Suite 2000, San Francisco, CA 94107 | Phone 650-854-9400
Washington Offices and Barbara Jordan Conference Center: 1330 G Street, NW, Washington, DC 20005 | Phone 202-347-5270

www.kff.org | Email Alerts: kff.org/email | facebook.com/KaiserFamilyFoundation | twitter.com/kff

Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in San Francisco, California.