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Leaders of the Women's Health Community Commend Dr. Susan F. Wood

August 31, 2005

Washington, DC — The national effort to improve the health of women suffered a serious blow today with the resignation of Dr. Susan F. Wood as the director of the FDA’s Office of Women’s Health.  Dr. Wood resigned in protest over the agency’s handling of Plan B.  She announced her resignation earlier today.

The women’s health community applauds Dr. Wood for her personal commitment to the FDA’s mission of making science-based decisions to improve the health of the public and we are very sorry to lose her.  Dr. Wood was one of the champions of a decade-long effort to improve women’s health through increased federal research and support.

Dr. Wood’s impact on women’s health was felt in many ways during her nearly 5 years at the FDA.  She led the agency’s effort to ensure that women were included in trials of new drugs and medical devices, and put into place reporting and recordkeeping systems that enabled researchers to quickly determine whether women were affected differently than men by specific products.  Dr. Wood was also a key player in the FDA’s efforts to increase our shared knowledge about the effects of medications used in pregnancy on the health of the fetus and the pregnant woman. 

Dr. Wood also demonstrated her leadership in women’s health by creating new programs to communicate important health information to average women, such as the FDA’s Take Time to Care campaign.  She was awarded the Commissioner’s Certificate of Excellence for her work on the agency’s education campaign on menopause hormone therapy. 

Dr. Wood encouraged dialogue with the FDA on a broad range of women’s health issues, from many avenues.  She welcomed input from consumers as well as industry, health professionals and biomedical researchers. 

The resignation of Dr Wood is just one example of the damaging implications of the FDA’s willingness to ignore clear scientific evidence and clear scientific shortcomings in their approval decisions for prescription drugs, medical devices, and other medical products.  American women will be harmed directly by FDA’s inappropriate decisions, as well as indirectly harmed when outstanding public servants decide to resign from this ailing agency.

Lorraine Cole, President
Black Women’s Health Imperative (202) 543-9311

Barbara Brenner, Executive Director
Breast Cancer Action (415) 243-9301

Cindy Pearson, Executive Director
National Women’s Health Network (202) 347-1140

Judy Norsigian, Executive Director
Our Bodies, Ourselves (617) 233-0062

Diana Zuckerman, President
National Research Center for Women & Families (202) 223-4000






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