Cigarette Makers Frustrated As Product Approvals Stall
Oh noes! It seems that the world’s foremost drug dealers are not happy that they are finding it difficult to unleash new nicotine delivery systems on the American public:
The Food and Drug Administration’s new Center for Tobacco Products, established under a 2009 law that gives the agency jurisdiction over tobacco, must review all new cigarettes or smokeless tobacco, as well as any changes to existing brands.
But the agency has yet to clear any products under the new system, and some cigarette makers are frustrated by the backlog of applications.
The FDA typically evaluates new drugs and other products with a “safe and effective” standard. But Lawrence Deyton, the Center for Tobacco Products’ director, says that standard “doesn’t work for tobacco products.”
But Jack Russo, a tobacco industry analyst with the investment firm Edward Jones, says the new regulatory framework is likely to slow the pace at which products get to the shelves.
“It’s going to be tough really to get any new product through,” says Russo, who also notes that the apparent FDA logjam is frustrating for an industry looking to expand as more people quit smoking.
Getting any new product on the market might help a company “outperform the competition a little bit, in what is a very tough industry to grow,” Russo says. “So every little bit helps … but the FDA certainly isn’t making it easy on anybody.”
Imagine that! The FDA is making it harder to introduce products that have a nasty habit of leading to an early grave.
Danny McGoldrick, vice president for research at the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids, isn’t at all troubled by tobacco companies’ “not being able to get their products on the market as quickly as they would like.”
The industry’s history of innovation “shows us that it tends to make the products more addictive, more appealing and more harmful,” McGoldrick says. “And we don’t need any more of that.”
Well, tobacco companies DO need more ways to attract new customers…their old ones die each and every day.
Read or listen to the whole story from NPR: