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December 4, 1987

Reye's Syndrome and Salicylates

Author Affiliations

Aspirin Foundation of America Washington, DC

Aspirin Foundation of America Washington, DC

JAMA. 1987;258(21):3117. doi:10.1001/jama.1987.03400210059012

To the Editor.—  The accusations against the federal regulatory authorities and the pharmaceutical industry contained in the editorial by Dr Mortimer1 entitled "Reye's Syndrome, Salicylates, Epidemiology, and Public Health Policy" are inconsistent with the facts. The editorial is unfair not only to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the industry, but to the many physicians and scientists who in 1982 and 1983 recognized the serious flaws in the early Reye's syndrome surveys and who advocated that public health decisions be based on sound scientific studies.Dr Mortimer states that "the first reasonably conclusive evidence of an association and a tentative warning appeared in 1980, but no definitive action was taken until 1986." He is wrong on both counts.The evidence in 1980 was far from conclusive. Nearly all public interest and academic commentators at the time, including the American Medical Association (AMA) and the American Academy of Pediatrics,