The FDA as Portrayed in Fiction: Incompetent Bureaucracy or Effective Vanguard of Public Health?

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The FDA as Portrayed in Fiction: Incompetent Bureaucracy or Effective Vanguard of Public Health?

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Title: The FDA as Portrayed in Fiction: Incompetent Bureaucracy or Effective Vanguard of Public Health?
Author: Wasserstein, Charlotte
Citation: Charlotte Wasserstein, The FDA as Portrayed in Fiction: Incompetent Bureaucracy or Effective Vanguard of Public Health? (April 2011).
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Abstract: This paper will discuss how the Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) is portrayed in fiction. The seven novels discussed here have been selected because FDA decisions and policies are crucial to each of their plots. This paper is not intended to offer an exhaustive look at how the FDA is depicted in literature, but rather to show how these narratives, through their characters and their personal tribulations, illuminate certain strengths and weaknesses of current FDA practices in a more vivid and personal way than traditional legal analysis. The paper is divided into four sections. First, this paper will discuss some systemic problems within the FDA regulatory process, as identified by these novels. Second, this paper will discuss the way these novels portray personnel issues faced by the Agency. Third, this paper will discuss the novels’ depiction of the FDA’s successes. Fourth, this paper will comment on the utility of using fiction as a lens through which to study a government agency such as the FDA. A plot summary of each novel is attached as Appendix A. Attached as Appendix B is a list of the best available sales data for each book.
Terms of Use: This article is made available under the terms and conditions applicable to Other Posted Material, as set forth at http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:dash.current.terms-of-use#LAA
Citable link to this page: http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:8592048

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