FDA Creates Independent Drug-Safety Board

In the headlines this afternoon, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is working to fix what's ailing it. The agency is creating an independent drug-safety board, as it weathers ongoing criticism over how it monitors drugs already on the market. The new board will include representatives from the FDA and medical oversight experts from federal departments like Veterans Affairs. It will also consult with patient and consumer groups. Also, beginning tomorrow, the FDA will discuss the safety of painkillers known as Cox-2 inhibitors. These drugs, which include Merck's (nyse: MRK - news - people ) withdrawn Vioxx and Pfizer's (nyse: PFE - news - people ) Bextra and Celebrex, have been linked to an increased risk of heart disease and stroke.

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