Washington, D.C. – House Armed Services Committee Ranking Member Adam Smith (D-WA) and Chairman Thornberry (R-TX) made the following remarks regarding FDA support to the military:
“The debate over this issue has highlighted how poorly the FDA has served the needs of our troops in harm’s way, extending even to a press campaign to spin the facts and protect its slow bureaucratic processes. Waiting a decade for approval of treatments that can save lives on the battlefield when proven medical products are in use around the world is unacceptable. We believe that the attention this debate has brought to the issue has begun to change that.
“Over the weekend, the Department of Defense informed us that they have reached a compromise with the White House and FDA. Although, we still have concerns about the impact it would have on our men and women in the field, we are content to let this compromise move forward in the hopes of improvement.
“In our discussions Commissioner Gottlieb conceded to us that the FDA has not given our troops the support they deserve. He has committed to turning this dire situation around in short order. We will hold him to that commitment, and plan to call the FDA Commissioner to testify before our committee early next year as the FY19 NDAA takes shape. To be clear, if the Armed Services Committee does not see evidence that the FDA is doing a better job meeting the needs of our troops, we will not hesitate to take action.”