But what's good for Ranbaxy has been causing some discomfort for FDA.Whistleblowers from FDA's Center for Devices and Radiological Health have sued the agency over allegedly being harassed and dismissed after publicly questioning the agency's approval methods for devices. The suit brought by the whistleblowers alleges, among other things, that FDA improperly read private emails to support a case for dismissing the plaintiffs. This prompted a letter to FDA commissioner Margaret A. Hamburg from Senator Charles Grassley (R–IA), in which he castigates the agency for perceived mistreatment of the whistleblowers, and includes a series of questions for the agency to answer to clarify its actions with respect to email monitoring.
Among the questions to the agency, Grassley asks, "What steps have you taken to reassure employees that they have a right to direct communications with Congress?" The answer to that question is an important one. FDA should expect no less from itself with respect to whistleblower protection than it demands of others.Amy Ritter is a scientific editor of Pharmaceutical Technology.