“Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.” this quote by Peter Drucker isn’t often applied to the Food and Drug Administration1 (FDA). The public constantly gets news about drug and food safety recalls. Ads from Law Firms ask you to call about defective medical devices. How can the FDA provide effective leadership when all these bad things are happening with our food and medicine?
Jay Harold wants you to learn more about this powerful United States government agency that affects the lives of every American daily. This is especially important for African-Americans since the quality of health care provided should be improved. A 2011 National Healthcare Quality and Disparities Report2 revealed the following facts:
- Blacks received worse care than Whites for 41% of quality measures.
- Poor people received worse care than high-income people for 47% of measures.
- Blacks had worse access to care than Whites for 32% of access measures.
Jay Harold wrote a post, “Black Household Incomes Below National Average,” that talks about the significant household income gap African-American households face today. This lack of income is also a contributing factor in the quality of healthcare received.
Food and Drug Administration Duties
FDA is responsible for protecting the public health by assuring the safety, efficacy, and security of human and veterinary drugs, biological products, medical devices, our nation’s food supply, cosmetics, and products that emit radiation.
FDA is also responsible for advancing the public health by helping to speed innovations that make medicines more effective, safer, and more affordable and by helping the public get the accurate, science-based information they need to use medicines and foods to maintain and improve their health. FDA also has responsibility for regulating the manufacturing, marketing, and distribution of tobacco products to protect the public health and to reduce tobacco use by minors.
Finally, FDA plays a significant role in the Nation’s counterterrorism capability. FDA fulfills this responsibility by ensuring the security of the food supply and by fostering the development of medical products to respond to deliberate and naturally emerging public health threats.
The FDA regulates your makeup, wheelchairs, heart medicine, pet food, and the meal you will eat today. You need to know this agency very well. More specifics about what the FDA regulate follows.
What does FDA regulate?
In general, FDA regulates:
- dietary supplements
- bottled water
- food additives
- infant formulas
- other food products (although the U.S. Department of Agriculture plays a lead role in regulating aspects of some meat, poultry, and egg products)
- prescription drugs (both brand-name and generic)
- non-prescription (over-the-counter) drugs
- blood and blood products
- cellular and gene therapy products
- tissue and tissue products
Medical Devices, including:
- simple items like tongue depressors and bedpans
- complex technologies such as heart pacemakers
- dental devices
- surgical implants and prosthetics
Electronic Products that give off radiation, including:
- microwave ovens
- x-ray equipment
- laser products
- ultrasonic therapy equipment
- mercury vapor lamps
- color additives found in makeup and other personal care products
- skin moisturizers and cleansers
- nail polish and perfume
Veterinary Products, including:
- livestock feeds
- pet foods
- veterinary drugs and devices
Tobacco Products, including:
- cigarette tobacco
- roll-your-own tobacco
- smokeless tobacco
You can become a better steward of your health! Sometimes you just need to know where to look. Jay Harold in the future will write more about drugs, biologics, medical devices, and tobacco products.
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