Party Like a Regulator


Today marks the 100th anniversary of the Pure Food and Drugs Act, and they're throwing a rager down at FDA HQ:

The ceremony, which will be held at the FDA's Harvey W. Wiley federal building, will feature U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Michael O. Leavitt and Acting FDA Commissioner Andrew C. von Eschenbach, M.D. Also in attendance will be senior leaders of the agency, and scores of current and former FDA employees and special guests including former Commissioners of Food and Drugs, representatives of consumer and trade groups, and descendants of Dr. Harvey W. Wiley, the scientist whose early support of food and drug regulations earned him the title of "Father of the Pure Food and Drugs Act."

According to the day's program, the "FDA Centennial Anthem" will be performed by the "FDA Chorus and U.S. Public Health Service Wind Ensemble." I hope things don't get too out of hand, what with all the reveling, FDA-approved substances, and hot young drug reps. We wouldn't want someone to wake up tomorrow in need of Plan B. I hear it can be hard to get.

Reason is a veritable pharmacopoeia of FDA analysis: Ten years back, Thomas Hazlett compared the FDA to an emotionally vulnerable adolescent boy. In '03, Jacob Sullum explained the anti-pleasure principle. In '04, Todd Seavey asked, "Is the FDA necessary?" And last year, I defended self-medicators everywhere.