Talking it out
For some patients, the time it takes for a new, potentially life-saving drug or device to clear regulatory hurdles could spell the difference between life and death. But the Food and Drug Administration’s job is to make sure all drugs and devices are safe before releasing them to the public, no matter how long it takes. So what comes first, safety or speed? This is a question UF vice president for health affairs emeritus David Challoner, M.D., discussed during a national debate with other leading authorities on May 8 in New York City. The debate, titled “The FDA’S Caution Is Hazardous To Our Health,” was part of the Intelligence Squared program. Intelligence Squared has held more than 70 Oxford-style debates about topical issues such as the Middle East and the financial crisis, featuring leading experts and thinkers including David Brooks of The New York Times, Howard Dean, the late author Michael Crichton and others. The goal is to bring together experts on both sides of an issue as well as to encourage intelligent discussion and analysis free of emotion and ideological rhetoric. To view the debate or listen to the radio broadcast of it, visit intelligencesquaredus.org and search for the title of the debate.