By Steve Usdin
Contributing Editor

WASHINGTON - Responding to agency criticisms of his FDA reform proposals, Senate Labor and Human Resources Committee Chairman James Jeffords (R-Vt.) last week released a significantly modified version of the Food and Drug Administration Modernization and Accountability Act of 1997 (S. 830). Many of the proposals that would have required the agency to adopt a more active role in promoting public health, such as informing patients and physicians of the availability of investigational therapies, have been removed.