You know the Food & Drug Administration is really under the control of Big Pharma when it approves an addictive new drug against the advice of its own medical board. Last October when Zohydro was approved the response from public health advocates, police and politicians began loudly questioning the function of the FDA. Today a dozen groups have asked the Obama administration to replace FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg, who has led the group since 2009.
What could be better for Big Pharma than a powerful, addictive new pain killer? Who cares if the FDA's own medical advisory panel recommended against it?
Unfortunately her job is probably secure. She's served longer than any other commissioner since the 1990's and is popular with the most important support groups: the pharmaceutical industry, medical groups and committee leaders on Capital Hill.