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Mary K. Olson

In: Guide to U.S. Health and Health Care Policy

Chapter 5: The Food and Drug Administration (1962–Present)

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The Food and Drug Administration (1962–Present)
The food and drug administration (1962–present)
Mary K.Olson

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is one of the most powerful and recognized regulatory agencies in the world. The agency has a mission to protect the public health through a broad range of responsibilities that include the regulation of food, drugs, cosmetics, dietary supplements, medical devices, vaccines, and other biological products. The agency also recently received new authority for regulating tobacco products.

The rationale for FDA regulation is one of asymmetric information. Because the attributes, purity, and quality of these products are difficult to observe, consumers and physicians may lack information needed to make informed choices among products and firms may lack sufficient incentives to invest in product quality. To address these ...

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