Alert
Close

Think you know AARP? What you don't know about us may surprise you. Discover all the 'Real Possibilities'

Highlights

Open

Contests and
Sweeps

Dream Vacation Sweepstakes

10 weeks. 10 amazing trips. Seize your chance to win!
See official rules. 

Driver Safety

Piggy bank on the road - AARP Driver Safety

Take the new AARP Smart Driver Course!

PROGRAMS

AARP Foundation Tax-Aide

You can get free, face-to-face tax assistance nationwide.

Money Matters Tip Sheets

Download and print out these PDFs to help with your financial matters.

AARP Books

Visit the Money Section

Enjoy titles on retirement, Social Security, and becoming debt-free.

webinars

Learn From the Experts

Sign up now for an upcoming Money webinar or find materials from a past session. 

Jobs You Might Like

most popular
articles

Viewed

Commented

Outrage: The $1.5 Million Morale Booster

Some people could use a lift to their spirits every now and then. But is such a pick-me-up worth $1.5 million? Apparently the U.S. Food and Drug Administration thinks so.

The FDA recently shelled out that sum in taxpayers’ money to boost morale within its ranks after feelings were bruised by the Institute of Medicine, part of the National Academy of Sciences. In late 2006 the institute delivered an astringent assessment of the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, accusing it of placing a greater emphasis on approving new drugs than ensuring their safety.

Following that deflating trip to the woodshed, the FDA purchased $1.5 million worth of salve from the Center for Professional Development (CPD), a consulting firm based in Oakland, Calif.

Among other things, for a recent FDA retreat, CPD supplied a slide show that compared top drug regulator Janet Woodcock to “visionary leaders” Golda Meir, Gandhi and Steven Jobs. CPD founder and president Charlotte Milliner deferred questions about the morale-boosting contract to the FDA, citing a confidentiality agreement her company signed with the agency.

The FDA says its association with CPD, which was finalized in 2007, was designed “to create a culture of communication and collaboration.” It clearly failed to engender warm and fuzzy feelings within some members of Congress, including Rep. John Shimkus, R-Ill., and his colleague Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas.

“It’s a cinch that if I spent a nickel of taxpayers’ money to rank myself with [Texas statesmen Sam] Houston and [Stephen F.] Austin, I’d have some explaining to do after the laughter died down,” Barton notes. He’s also “concerned about the lack of any justifiable metrics for measuring contract success.”

Blair S. Walker, who frequently writes for the Bulletin’s In the News section, lives in Miami.

 
 

Topic Alerts

You can get weekly email alerts on the topics below. Just click “Follow.”

Manage Alerts

Processing

Please wait...

progress bar, please wait

Tell Us WhatYou Think

Please leave your comment below.

your money

Discounts & Benefits

Explore Your Learning Possiblities