By Jayla Burton, Program Manager
Since day one of President Joe Biden taking office, we’ve called on him to make sure his administration makes breast cancer a priority. Appointing a strong Food and Drug Administration (FDA) leader who will focus on protecting the health and safety of patients and consumers is a critical component of building an administration that cares about people living with breast cancer.
Dr. Janet Woodcock, current acting commissioner and a potential candidate for FDA Commissioner, is not that leader. Contact your Senators and tell them to take immediate action and a strong stand for public health by opposing Woodcock for FDA Commissioner.
We’ve heard from many of our members with breast cancer, and we know the decisions and approvals of the FDA directly and deeply impact their lives. Ensuring FDA-approved breast cancer treatments are more effective, less toxic, and more affordable is an urgent matter.
Over the last few years, the scientific integrity of the FDA has been challenged, weakened, and deprioritized. That’s why our work to ensure the safety of people undergoing breast cancer treatment has never been more important. Dr. Janet Woodcock has a reputation for putting the interest of drug companies before public health and is, unsurprisingly, supported by the pharmaceutical industry. This is good news for pharmaceutical companies that prioritize profit above all else, but terrible news for breast cancer patients, as weakening FDA regulations threatens to undermine patient protections.
Ensuring the safety and efficacy of drugs and medical devices, including those used to treat breast cancer, must be done on the basis of scientific evidence—not industry influence. We need an agency leader who will ensure that decision-making is informed by strong clinical evidence demonstrating improved survival and quality of life. The new FDA Commissioner should strengthen the agency, defend the scientists who want to protect public health, and put people before pharmaceutical profits.