September 14,2004

Chairman Grassley comments on conclusions of FDA panel regarding the pediatric use of antidepressants


TO: Reporters and Editors
FR: Jill Kozeny, 202/224-1308
RE: FDA Panel Meeting
DA: September 14, 2004

Sen. Chuck Grassley issued the following comment about the conclusions reached at theSeptember 13-14 advisory board hearing of the Food and Drug Administration. Sen. Grassley ischairman of the Senate Committee on Finance and has been conducting oversight of the Foodand Drug Administration's handling of information about the pediatric use of antidepressants.

“Given the scientific findings, it’s obvious that the strongest label warning for this classof drugs is critically important for the health and safety of young Americans. The Food and DrugAdministration needs to learn an important lesson from what’s developed this year on the matterof kids and antidepressants. Transparency in government is the best policy. Parents and doctorsshould not be left in the dark, and especially when information that’s available could be a matterof life and death. It looks like this week’s meeting resulted in the right outcome in this particulardispute, but I intend to stay on the lookout with other public watchdogs for any kind of systemicproblems that may exist within the Food and Drug Administration.”