Dermatologic Therapy

May 9, 2009

Dermatologists have at their disposal a wide range of products to recommend or prescribe to their patients, all of which are regulated in some way by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). However, the degree to which FDA has confirmed the safety and efficacy of a dermatological product can vary widely. Most prescription and some over-the-counter drugs and medical devices are approved by the FDA based on scientific data. Most over-the-counter drugs are marketed in compliance with FDA regulations based on expert medical review. The FDA clears most medical devices based on their substantial equivalence to other legally marketed devices. Cosmetics, medical foods, and dietary supplements are subject only to general postmarket prohibitions against adulterated and misbranded products, although the FDA may review ingredient safety and specific claims for dietary supplements. Some product information is available on FDA’s Web site, but the prudent physician should supplement that information by reviewing available scientific literature.

Additional information available here.