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Jan. 11, 2020 – The effects of that slippage are starting to show. Too many prescription drugs and medical devices are being approved with too little data on how safe or effective they are. And too many other products — like those containing CBD or THC, ingredients found in the marijuana plant — are being sold with no apparent oversight at all.
Part of the problem is that the agency has too few resources and too little power to fulfill its key responsibilities. But it has also become profoundly vulnerable to political interference and other special interests. And a revolving door — F.D.A. staffers frequently go on to lucrative jobs at the very companies they were tasked with policing — has hurt the agency’s credibility.
So too have a string of high-profile public health crises. In just the past few years, the F.D.A. has been faulted for its roles in the opioid epidemic (regulators allowed too many opioids on the market without properly flagging them as addictive or deadly) and a surge in youth vaping…