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Celebrex, Bextra Face FDA Scrutiny This Week

FDA Practices May Also Face Debate, Official Says

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FDA officials say that this week's hearings are likely to go beyond Cox-2 drugs to broader issues of how the agency polices the safety of drugs already on the market, FDA officials say. The FDA has also faced questions over how it handled growing evidence that last year led to stricter warnings on an increased risk of suicidal behavior in children who take antidepressants.

In an interview in late January, acting FDA Commissioner Lester M. Crawford said the agency would also look to experts for cues on how to approach improving safety reviews in general.

President Bush on Monday nominated Crawford to become the FDA's permanent commissioner, the White House announced. The post has been vacant for more than a year.

With reporting by Salynn Boyles.

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