Iowa Republican Senator Charles Grassley hammered the Bush Administration today for blocking his Senate Finance Committee investigation into FDA's approval of the controversial antibiotic Ketek. And he personally attacked the president saying, "Well sometimes I wonder why I spent two days in the car with President Bush riding around the cold of Iowa to help get him nominated in the year 2000."
Speaking before a House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing on the drug, Grassley said repeated requests to talk to an FDA investigator who worked on the Ketek case were rejected. And he says the FDA documents he received were heavily redacted. He says in one case even his own letter requesting documents to the FDA was returned to him with blacked out text.
The FDA has previously said they could not release the documents that Grassley requested due to an ongoing investigation. House Republicans on the committee called the hearing "one sided" noting that FDA officials and representatives from the drug manufacturer were not present. The chairman of the Oversight subcommittee, Congressman Bart Stupak(MI-D) says the committee will hear from FDA and Ketek maker Sanofi-Aventis officials in late March.