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What is the relationship between the FDA and academia?

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54 minutes ago, happiness said:

The academic medical and biosciences community seems to overwhelmingly support the FDA system.

Citation needed.

I've worked in some academic medical fields. It has always seemed to me that the academic community often doesn't like the FDA, and I'm not aware of any people who like it. If there are people who like it, is probably people who abuse the system, or choose to be part of it by joining it. The FDA is more like an overlord that you must obey, and if you don't obey, your career is screwed. The bureaucrats act as gatekeepers, they determine what counts as permissible evidence, and what counts as worthwhile. So I wouldn't call it symbiotic, I would say the FDA is parasitic upon academia.


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The FDA depends on scientific research to make legal determinations, but the FDA is incapable of conducting the necessary research. This is generally the situation with government and science – Congress empowers some agency to regulate interstate commerce and articulates some incredibly vague standard of interest, then leaves it up to the agency to write rules. The system places the burden of proof on the individual wishing to market a regulated product. Academic researchers are often willing to subcontract with producers to address the science, or basically anybody who has a wad of cash to support their work.

There has always been a basic tension between the anti-progress Luddites and more rational men, where the Luddites use the courts or the administrative review process to object to progress. Rational men must then anticipate the argument likely to be addressed by the Luddites, and nip it in the bud. Unfortunately, that is not always possible (and is irrelevant when the attack is through the courts). In addition, Luddite ideologues have infested academe and administration, meaning that factual determinations are not always based solely on facts. I think the degree of cooperation that exists doesn’t constitute “support”, it constitutes “recognition of fact”. E.g. it’s recognition of fact when you pay your taxes.

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