Health care regulatory agencies supervise professional of the health care profession such as physicians, hospitals, and labs. Providing information in regards to changes in health care along with ensuring the safety and legal compliance and the quality of services provided to the public is the duty assigned to the agency. These agencies can range from the federal, all the way to the local level with the task of establishing rules and regulations for the health care industry to follow. The supervision of these is imperative. Fields of expertise range from disease control, health care providers, to food and drug.
These different agencies are all housed under the Department of Health and Human Services. The FDA is the agency that will be analyzed in this paper. The FDA or Food and Drug administration is the oldest agency in the federal government of the U. S. This scientific, regulatory, and public health agency supervises items in the market that account for one fourth of every dollar spent by consumers. Earlier duties involved doing chemical analysis of farming products back in 1862 when it was known as the Department of Agriculture. In 1930 this department was renamed to the name that the public recognizes presently.
The governing role started with the 1906 Pure Food and Drug Act, this law banned interstate trading in contaminated and incorrectly labeled food and drugs. The enforcement of this law was headed by Chief Chemist Harvey Washington Wiley. As of today, the agency now employs over 10,000 that is made up of pharmacists, physicians, veterinarians, lawyers, microbiologists, chemists and pharmacologists. These were the starting blocks of consumer protection that would later evolve in to the regulatory laws that we presently abide by. The responsibilities over the years have been modified, to keep up with changes in politics, culture, and the economy.
Its power of influence includes most food products (with the exception of poultry and meat), animal and human medication, therapeutic agents of biological origin, medical instruments, radiation-emitting products for consumer, medical, and professional use, toiletries, make-up, and animal food (FDA, 2009). Agency scientists review applications for new human and animal drugs, infant formulas, food and color additives, and complex medical devices. Also, the FDA monitor s the transport, storage, import, manufacture, and sale of about $1 trillion worth of products annually (FDA, 2009).
States utilized the primary control over nationally produced and distributed goods and drugs in the 19th century. The control that was administered was conflicting from state to state. The Vaccine Act of 1813, though brief, was the first federal law that addressed buyer protection and medication for the public. At such federal power was restricted to medicine and foods that were brought in. With advancement in the field of science, fraudulent acts like manufacturing contaminated food were easier to identify. Drug companies had developed techniques that made medicine less potent but more beneficial by cutting the drug with just about anything.
The meat packing industry was also exposed for its sickening situation. These dishonest and unsafe practices prompted the driving force that lead to both a meat inspection law and a comprehensive food and drug law . President Roosevelt passed in to law The Food and Drug Act in June of 1906. Under this act guidelines were established to the labeling of products. Drugs could not be sold unless it met the standard defined in the United States Pharmacopoeia and the National Formulary. If there was a difference from the norm it should be stated on the label.
Foods were not subjected to the same similar standards, however the law banned the addition of any component that would alternate the food, cover up damage, create a health risk, or amount to a dirty or decayed substance. The FDA is made up of seven centers: the National Center for Toxicological Research Organization, Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition Organization, Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research Organization, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research Organization, Center for Tobacco Products Organization, Center for Veterinary Medicine Organization, and the Center for Devices and Radiological Health Organization. Impact
On the FDA website there are sections that house the important information pertaining to pet safety and health, safety information and problems with human health products, and food safety. There are also press releases by the various industries and the FDA on recalls of different products. There was a recent ruling that made the media headlines that shows how important the rulings of the FDA are to the public. On March 18, 2010 new rules were announced that have a strict impact on the way that the tobacco industry can sell and market smokeless products and cigarettes. In particular the advertising that targets the nation’s youth population.
That law that takes effect on June 22, prevents the FDA from prohibiting tobacco or nicotine, but it gives the agency infinite authority to control the ingredients in tobacco products and the way they are marketed, distributed and sold (Lyndsey, 2010). Companies will no longer be able to sponsor events that involve entertainment or sports among other things. Federal punishment for violators varies from penalties to warnings. This has been an ongoing battle since 1996 when the FDA tried to crack down on the advertising but the industry fought back in court and won. They accused the agency of stepping outside the bounds of their authority.