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Capitol Health Call
March 14, 2012

Whistle-blower Treatment

JAMA. 2012;307(10):1015. doi:10.1001/jama.2012.257

Sen Chuck Grassley (R, Iowa), ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, wants an accounting from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) over its handling of a group of agency scientists who questioned approvals of medical devices in communications with Congress and the White House.

According to news reports, the 6 scientists are suing the FDA, claiming that the agency violated their constitutional privacy rights by monitoring their personal e-mail accounts and that the information garnered by the agency contributed to their subsequent harassment or dismissal. The scientists, who worked in the FDA's Center for Devices and Radiological Health, allege they were punished for expressing safety concerns about radiological devices used to detect diseases such as breast and colon cancer.

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