There's no doubt that the FDA has been having problems lately. The agency has been accused of not testing drugs thoroughly enough, and of ignoring warnings about drugs until many people had been affected. Apparently all the accusations have been having a huge effect on morale--enough that they gave a $1.5 million contract to a consultant to "boost morale."
Among the consultants solutions was a two-day retreat for nearly 500 employees, including a slide show that compared the FDA's top regulator, Janet Woodcock, to "visionary leaders" such as Golda Meir, Margaret Thatcher, Steve Jobs and Gandhi.
The FDA is defending the contract and conference as appropriate responses to a critical report from the Institute of Medicine in 2006. However, many lawmakers are calling the ideas ridiculous, especially in the face of the FDA claiming it doesn't have the manpower to put drugs through its approval process any faster.
To learn more about the expenses and controversy:
- read this Wall Street Journal piece