Public health practice depends on public health law for determining policy that will be used. There are those that say that public health law is needed to protect the publics health while others believe…
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The Association of Dietary supplement manufacturers brought suit against the Food and Drug Administration stating that it did not have the right to require single dose packaging of iron supplements and nutritional supplements with iron in them. According to the Dietary Association this is not a case of possible adulteration and therefore does not fall into that jurisdiction for the FDA. The FDA, however, there were risks and one of those was poisoning as well as the possibility of adulteration and had required all of these drugs be packaged in single dose (Westlaw)
The Association of Dietary supplement manufacturers felt that the FDA had overstepped its bounds in requiring this kind of packaging for dietary supplements and iron. It was much more expensive to do this and though the FDA had been given quite a lot of authority, this was not included. The courts eventually agreed with the Association of Dietary supplement manufacturers even though there had been many deaths related to the overdose of children with iron compounds from these supplements. This is an example of public health law that is outdated does not help but a policy might possibly have (Hall, 2003).
Public health officials are tasked with protecting the public, taking whatever actions are necessary to protect health (Hall, 2003). It would seem then that the FDA was still in the right as they were protecting the health due to many deaths related to the use of these drugs by children and overdosage on iron which could be prevented with single dose packaging. The FDA felt it was their duty to protect under these circumstances and this writer believes that review of the literature would support that perspective.
When we view public health law we should see the use of duty, power, and restraint (Gosten, 2001). One likes to believe that the restraint is common sense. Yet often, it appears, public health officials use the duty and power and forget to use common
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