The end of reform

For the biotechnology industry, the roller-coaster ride of the 104th Congress, and the inability to come even close to getting FDA reform legislation enacted, provide important lessons for looking beyond last week's elections.

One is that radical reform - of the FDA or just about anything else - is a non-starter. The U.S. electorate is clearly willing to embrace gridlock rather than to provide the leadership of either party with the power to advance a broad agenda. In this environment, FDA "reform", a complex subject that few on Capitol Hill understand, is particularly ill-suited to high profile public debate.