Current or former staff members at the FDA, who were in charge of vetting certain medical equipment for potential approval for use, are engaged in litigation with the agency over the fed’s response to their having flagged some devices as unsafe. After the staff alerted Congress to issues in the process of approvals, which risked inappropriate equipment being placed on the market for use, the staff aver they were targeted by the agency and, on point for the present story, their private communications were illegally monitored. The article points out how the inspector general’s lawyers at the FDA repeatedly declined to bring any action against the staff, indicating they saw nothing illegal in what the employees did. Nevertheless many are now no longer with the agency, and are now locked in legal battle with the FDA.
This is an important case for our students to follow and study, as it involves technology, its applications, how professionals might need to advocate as more than just a ‘hired gun’ for an employer, and the government’s push-back against same.