In establishing whether a nicotine product is appropriate for the protection of public health, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration held its Center for Tobacco Products (CTP) reviewers to a lower standard than the companies submitting premarket tobacco product applications, according to Alex Norcia writing in Filter.
Citing documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, Filter describes procedures such as batching and bracketing, which allowed the CTP to apply conclusions to categories of products rather than evaluating them separately. “Despite imposing extremely onerous bureaucratic requirements on applicants, the agency was happy to find ways to cut through its own paperwork,” writes Norcia.
“It’s clear that FDA allows itself efficient shortcuts that it has denied to applicants,” Clive Bates, director of The Counterfactual, told Filter.
“The problem has always been that FDA’s extraordinarily burdensome process was obviously tremendously wasteful for applicants, but of course it was always going to be unmanageable for the assessors in FDA. Without this sort of shortcut, the PMTA process would have become a human resources nightmare. So FDA has allowed itself the kind of efficiencies it should have offered to the applicants—batching and bracketing thousands of near-identical products.”