Proposal would require yearly FDA reviews of new drugs

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Senators are considering legislation that would require an annual re-assessment of all new drugs during their first three years on the market. The legislation also would restrict advertising for the first two years after their approval.

The Senate's drug safety bill is an effort to overhaul the Food and Drug Administration evaluation process, say patient and consumer advocates during a recent hearing of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. But it doesn't go far enough in its reforms, they say.

The FDA's reassessment of drugs should apply to drugs that have been on the market for several years, since it can take nearly seven years for most drugs to show adverse events, said Jim Guest, president of Consumers Union, who also called for tougher moratoriums on advertising.