Any Truth to this, Dr. W. David Hager to head up the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) Reproductive Health Drugs

bozack

Diamond Member
Jan 14, 2000
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Friend of mine just got this in email from his sister, wondering if it is accurate? sorry don't have time to research and thought someone here might know...if so it seems a little wacky, and while I don't agree with the last statement I do think that science should come first in matters such as these.

Here is the email:
Subject: Hager FDA appointment

President Bush has announced his plan to select Dr. W. David
Hager to head up the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA)
Reproductive Health Drugs Advisory Committee. The committee has
not met for more than two years, during which time its charter
lapsed. As a result, the Bush Administration is tasked with
filling all eleven positions with new members. This position does
not require Congressional approval. The FDA's Reproductive Health
Drugs Advisory Committee makes crucial decisions on matters
relating to drugs used in the practice of obstetrics, gynecology
and related specialties, including hormone therapy,
contraception, treatment for infertility, and medical
alternatives to surgical procedures for sterilization and
pregnancy termination.

Dr. Hager, the author of "As Jesus Cared for Women: Restoring
Women Then and Now." The book blends biblical accounts of Christ
healing Women with case studies from Hager's practice. His views
of reproductive health care are far outside the mainstream for
productive technology. Dr. Hager is a practicing OB/GYN who
describes himself as "pro-life" and refuses to prescribe
contraceptives to unmarried women. In the book Dr. Hager wrote
with his wife, entitled "Stress and the Woman's Body," he
suggests that women who suffer from premenstrual syndrome should
seek help from reading the bible and praying. As an editor and
contributing author of "The Reproduction Revolution: A Christian
Appraisal of Sexuality Reproductive Technologies and the Family,"
Dr. Hager appears to have endorsed the medically inaccurate
assertion that the common birth control pill is an abortifacient.
We are concerned that Dr. Hager's strong religious beliefs may
color his assessment of technologies that are necessary to
protect women's lives or to preserve and promote women's health.
Hager's track record of using religious beliefs to guide his
medical decision-making makes him a dangerous and inappropriate
candidate to serve as chair of this committee. Critical drug
public policy and research must not be held hostage by
antiabortion politics. Members of this important panel should be
appointed on the basis of science and medicine, rather than
politics and religion. American women deserve no less.

This was a chain letter/petition...thanks
 

43st

Diamond Member
Nov 7, 2001
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snopes: true

I guess like abortion they're planning to outlaw contraceptives also. We're on the fast track to the 13th century here in America. :p
 

conjur

No Lifer
Jun 7, 2001
58,686
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Time Magazine article from Oct. 2002:

http://www.time.com/time/natio.../0,8599,361521,00.html
A quiet battle is raging over the Bush Administration's plan to appoint a scantily credentialed doctor, whose writings include a book titled As Jesus Cared for Women: Restoring Women Then and Now, to head an influential Food and Drug Administration (FDA) panel on women's health policy. Sources tell Time that the agency's choice for the advisory panel is Dr. W. David Hager, an obstetrician-gynecologist who also wrote, with his wife Linda, Stress and the Woman's Body, which puts "an emphasis on the restorative power of Jesus Christ in one's life" and recommends specific Scripture readings and prayers for such ailments as headaches and premenstrual syndrome. Though his resume describes Hager as a University of Kentucky professor, a university official says Hager's appointment is part time and voluntary and involves working with interns at Lexington's Central Baptist Hospital, not the university itself. In his private practice, two sources familiar with it say, Hager refuses to prescribe contraceptives to unmarried women. Hager did not return several calls for comment.

FDA advisory panels often have near-final say over crucial health questions. If Hager becomes chairman of the 11-member Reproductive Health Drugs Advisory Committee, he will lead its study of hormone-replacement therapy for menopausal women, one of the biggest controversies in health care. Some conservatives are trying to use doubts about such therapy to discredit the use of birth-control pills, which contain similar compounds. The panel also made the key recommendation in 1996 that led to approval of the "abortion pill," RU-486?a decision that abortion foes are still fighting. Hager assisted the Christian Medical Association last August in a "citizens' petition" calling upon the FDA to reverse itself on RU-486, saying it has endangered the lives and health of women.

Hager was chosen for the post by FDA senior associate commissioner Linda Arey Skladany, a former drug-industry lobbyist with longstanding ties to the Bush family. Skladany rejected at least two nominees proposed by FDA staff members: Donald R. Mattison, former dean of the University of Pittsburgh School of Public Health, and Michael F. Greene, director of maternal- fetal medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital. Despite pressure from inside the FDA to make the appointment temporary, sources say, Skladany has insisted that Hager get a full four-year term. FDA spokesman Bill Pierce called Hager "well qualified."



http://www.truthorfiction.com/rumors/h/hager.htm
Dr. David Hager Selected for the FDA's Reproductive Health Drugs Advisory Committee-Truth!
Summary of the eRumor
The eRumor is a protest of the choice of Dr. David Hager to lead the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's Reproductive Health Drugs Advisory Committee. It says he is a religious pro-life physician who refuses to prescribe contraceptives to unmarried women and opposes the use of RU-486, the "morning after" pill that ends any pregnancy that may have resulted from unprotected sex.

The Truth
Dr. David Hager is a part of the teaching staff of the University of Kentucky College of Medicine and has developed a reputation as an expert on gynecologic infections.

This eRumor was circulated before Dr. Hager actually became a member of the committee.

He is now a part of the panel, although he did not become the chairman of it.

He is a conservatively oriented physician and is a speaker and author in the Christian community who describes himself as pro-life.

He objected to this eRumor saying that he does not know who wrote it and that no one had interviewed him for it and that some of it is not accurate.

He says that he does not refuse to prescribe birth control for unmarried patients.

He is an advocate of abstinence but for patients who do not make that choice, he is not opposed to birth control prescription.

He also says that his opposition to RU-486 was based on his concerns about the safety of the drug.

He says RU-486 was approved under an "Accelerated Approval Process" reserved exclusively for anti-AIDS and anti-cancer drugs and an antihypertensive agent. He says that normally the FDA requires one or more than one randomized, controlled trials before approving a drug, which was not done for RU-486.

He also says that he does not believe that standard birth control pills are abortifacient and has never written it.

He says he co-edited a book that referenced various views about birth control pills but that not all of those views were his own.
Regarding his views of how to deal with stress-related disorders in women, he says "I have always offered a holistic approach to therapy. I suggest diet/exercise changes, medications as needed, counseling when required, and meditation/prayer."


Snopes
http://www.snopes.com/politics/bush/hager.asp
Claim: President Bush has appointed W. David Hager, a physician and anti-abortion activist, to an FDA committee on reproductive drugs.

Status: True.

Example [Collected on the Internet, 2003]

Origins: This item began circulating in early 2003 and is now outdated, since the decision it sought to influence has long since been made. However, the outcome of the 2004 presidential election seems to have prompted a new cycle of forwarding among people who mistakenly believe this to be a pending issue.

In December 2002, W. David Hager was one of eleven physicians appointed to the Food and Drug Administration's Advisory Committee for Reproductive Health Drugs, a commitee whose job it is to evaluate data and make recommendations on the safety and effectiveness of marketed and experimental drugs for use in obstetrics, gynecology, and related specialties. Dr. Hager is a part-time professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University Kentucky College of Medicine and a well-known specialist on gynecologic infections, and therefore at first blush his appointment to this committee would seem a good fit.

However, he is also vehemently pro-life and has vigorously played a part in the campaign to get the FDA to withdraw its approval of mifepristone (RU-486), a drug that terminates pregnancies. He is indeed the author of a number of books in which he's advocated prayer and the reading of the Scriptures as cures for medical ills.

Dr. Hager makes no bones about his beliefs but says they won't compromise his judgment: "Yes, I'm pro-life. But that's not going to keep me from objectively evaluating medication. I believe there are some safety concerns (about mifepristone) and they should be evaluated."

Contrary to the claim made in the now widely-circulated e-mail decrying his appointment, Dr. Hager says he does not deny birth-control prescriptions to unmarried women. However, Time magazine reported that "In his private practice, two sources familiar with it say, Hager refuses to prescribe contraceptives to unmarried women."

Dr. Hager maintained that his opposition to FDA approval of RU-486 was based purely on safety concerns:
May I begin by telling you that no one who has written about me or broadcast information about me has ever interviewed me. The information being disseminated is rumor and innuendo. I am pro-life and believe in the sanctity of human life.

I participated in the Citizens Petition to the FDA asking that RU-486 be withdrawn temporarily from the market until further investigation could be done out of my concern for the health and well-being of women and their unborn children. Mifeprex was approved under an Accelerated Approval Process, Subpart H, that has been reserved exclusively for anti-AIDS and anti-cancer drugs and an antihypertensive agent. All medications that are life saving, which mifeprex is not. The FDA always requires one or more than one randomized, controlled trials before approving a drug. There were none for mifeprex (RU-486). The nonrandomized, uncontrolled trials that were done insisted on the woman having an ultrasound scan to locate the pregnancy and insure that it was not outside the uterus (an ectopic pregnancy). The guidelines for use now do not require such a scan and we have reports already of death and morbidity from ruptured ectopic pregnancies since the symptoms of a ruptured ectopic and abortion from mifeprex are the same; abdominal pain and bleeding. The FDA requires that medications that may be used in children and adolescents be studied in those groups before approval (The Pediatric Rule) and this was not done with mifeprex. There have been two seriously infected 15 year olds. Finally, in studies reported to date, among women who fail to abort after receiving mifeprex (and this occurs 5-8% of the time when administered up to 7 weeks gestation) there have been limb deformities and absent limbs. I feel that the drug needs further study. Searle Laboratories, the manufacturer of misoprostol (the second drug taken after mifepristone) has issued a medical alert asking that the drug never be used in pregnant women due to risks of cardiovascular problems. There has been a fatal heart attack in France and a non-fatal one here in a 21 year old.

Regarding contraception, I advise all of my non-married patients that abstinence is the best way to avoid non-marital pregnancy and STDs. If she insists on being sexually active or is already active, I advise the use of birth control pills and condoms as well. I do not believe that standard dose birth control pills are abortifacient, and have never written that. There is a chapter in a book I co-edited, that purports this idea, but it was included in our book to offer an alternative opinion, not because we believed the idea. Since when is it wrong to offer alternative opinions?

Regarding my management and writing about stress-related disorders in women, I have always offered a holistic approach to therapy. I suggest diet/exercise changes, medications as needed, counseling when required, and meditation/prayer. This is very distasteful to NOW and Planned Parenthood.

I hope this helps you and enables you to see how "horrible" I am in the eyes of the organizations you mention as encouraging me not to serve this Administration.
Whatever one's opinion of Dr. Hager, his appointment is a done deal. Dr. Hager is now a member of the FDA's Advisory Committee on Reproductive Health Drugs, so a petition aimed at preventing him from reaching that position is moot. (Perhaps as a result of the controversy stirred up by the original position, Dr. Hager was appointed to sit on the committee, but not to chair it.) In June 2004, Dr. Hager was reappointed to the committee for an additional year.
 

bozack

Diamond Member
Jan 14, 2000
7,913
12
81
thanks all for the quick replies, I knew I could count on you news hounds...sorry if this is a repost.