Diana Zuckerman

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Diana M. Zuckerman (born 16 June 1950[1]) is an American health policy analyst who focuses on the implications of policies for public health and patients’ health. She is an expert on national health policy, particularly in women's health and the safety and effectiveness of medical products. She is the President of the National Center for Health Research (formerly National Research Center for Women & Families) and the Cancer Prevention and Treatment Fund.[2]

Early life and education[edit]

Zuckerman earned her B.A. in psychology from Smith College and then obtained a Ph.D in psychology from THE Ohio State University in 1977. At Yale Medical School she was a post-doctoral fellow in epidemiology and public health from 1979 to 1980.


She was on the faculty at Vassar College and Yale University, and directed a longitudinal study of college students as director of the Seven College Study at Harvard University, publishing books and articles on the impact of media on children, the impact of religion on the health of the elderly, and how women's life experiences influence their mental and physical health. She left academia in 1983 when she was selected as a Fellow in the American Association for the Advancement of Science Congressional Science Fellowship program.[3]

From 1985 to 1993 she worked at the U.S. Congress in a House subcommittee where she was responsible for a dozen Congressional oversight investigations on health and social policy, including political manipulation of government grants to prevent child abuse, lack of safeguards for infertility treatments, financial conflicts of interest among National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant recipients, and the lack of safety studies on breast implants. Information from the hearings received widespread public health, government, and media attention, resulting in several policy and regulatory changes, including the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requiring implant manufacturers to submit safety studies for the first time.[3]

In 1993, Zuckerman joined the staff of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee and began an investigation that resulted in the first Congressional hearings focused on the possible causes of Gulf War syndrome. In 1995 she was a senior policy advisor in the Clinton Administration. From 1996, she undertook leading roles in non-profit organizations, including, from 1999, presidency of the National Research Center for Women & Families[3] (renamed the National Center for Health Research in 2014) and The Cancer Prevention and Treatment Fund. In 2010, she was inducted into the Women in Medicine International Hall of Fame by the American Medical Women's Association.

Her work focuses on improving the quality of medical products and healthcare in the United States. She has been highly critical of scientific and medical research paid for by companies, who then use this to promote their products, as well as the lack of media coverage on independently funded research that challenges industry-funded research. She has said:

You've heard of junk science — a term coined by corporations to describe research they don’t like — but the real danger to public health might be called "checkbook science": research intended not to expand knowledge or to benefit humanity, but instead to sell products.[4]

In February 2011, Zuckerman and colleagues Paul Brown and Dr. Steven Nissen published a study in the peer-reviewed journal Archives of Internal Medicine, which evaluated the FDA’s recalls of devices that the agency considered potentially deadly or otherwise very high risk.[5] Based on FDA data, the authors determined that most of the devices that were high-risk recalls had never been studied in clinical trials prior to FDA approval, and that the FDA needed to use more stringent criteria for implanted medical devices and those used to diagnose serious illnesses, and an editorial in the same issue agreed.[6][7][8][9] In April 2011, Zuckerman presented the results of the study at a hearing of the U.S. Senate Senate Special Committee on Aging.[10]

Zuckerman is the author of five books, several book chapters, and dozens of articles in medical and academic journals, and in newspapers across the country. Her policy work has resulted in news coverage on all the major TV networks, including ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, Fox News, public television, 60 Minutes, 20/20, National Public Radio, and in major U.S. print media such as The New York Times,[11][12][13][14] The Washington Post,[15] The Washington Times, Los Angeles Times,[16] Boston Globe,[17][18] USA Today, Detroit Free Press, New York Daily News, Newsweek, Time, U.S. News and World Report, Family Circle, The New Yorker, Glamour, Self,[19] as well as many other newspapers, magazines, and radio programs.[20][21][22]


Zuckerman has appeared before numerous FDA advisory committees to testify as a medical expert on a variety of drugs and devices.

On December 12, 2013, Zuckerman testified regarding the type-2 diabetes drug dapagliflozin (Farxiga), saying: "My concern about this drug is that there are just too many unanswered questions – and those unanswered questions are frightening ones. That was true when the FDA rejected this application for approval 2 years ago, and it is still true today." She cited studies that highlighted the risks that the drug poses, as well as methodological concerns such as a lack of diversity in clinical trials.[23] On November 14, 2012, Zuckerman made a statement at a Capitol Hill press conference about the VALID Compounding Act. She stated that loopholes in the FDA law, including compounding pharmacies, have allowed hundreds of people to get sick with meningitis and several to die. The VALID Compounding Act is designed to close the loopholes that are so harmful to patients.[24]

Published articles[edit]

Zuckerman frequently writes articles regarding medical drugs and devices, as well as public health policy. Recent articles include:


  1. ^ http://authorities.loc.gov/cgi-bin/Pwebrecon.cgi?AuthRecID=3305166&v1=1&HC=1&SEQ=20071211042258&PID=27945[full citation needed]
  2. ^ "Stop Cancer Fund - Information you can use. A voice you can trust". stopcancerfund.org. Retrieved April 11, 2017. 
  3. ^ a b c National Research Center for Women & Families staff listing Retrieved June 14, 2010.
  4. ^ Zuckerman, Diana (2002)Hype in health reporting. Retrieved August 16, 2006.
  5. ^ Zuckerman DM, Brown P, Nissen SE (June 2011). "Medical device recalls and the FDA approval process". Archives of Internal Medicine. 171 (11): 1006–11. doi:10.1001/archinternmed.2011.30. PMID 21321283. 
  6. ^ Redberg RF, Dhruva SS (June 2011). "Medical device recalls: get it right the first time: Comment on "Medical device recalls and the FDA approval process"". Archives of Internal Medicine. 171 (11): 1011–2. doi:10.1001/archinternmed.2011.27. PMID 21321286. 
  7. ^ "Not enough safety testing on medical implant devices, studies claim". cbsnews.com. CBS News. September 30, 2014. Retrieved April 11, 2017. 
  8. ^ Thomas M. Burton (September 29, 2014). "Medical Devices Lack Safety Evidence, Study Finds". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved April 11, 2017. 
  9. ^ "Studies criticize U.S. medical device approval process". Reuters. September 30, 2014. Retrieved April 11, 2017. 
  10. ^ http://aging.senate.gov[full citation needed]
  11. ^ Gardiner Harris (April 8, 2009). "F.D.A. to Check Safety of Old Devices". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. Retrieved April 11, 2017. 
  12. ^ Reed Abelson (October 27, 2009). "Quickly Vetted, Treatment Is Offered to Patients". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. Retrieved April 11, 2017. 
  13. ^ Ronio Caryn Rabin (May 3, 2015). "Long-Term Data on Complications Adds to Criticism of Essure Contraceptive Implant". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. Retrieved April 11, 2017. 
  14. ^ Marshall Allen; Olga Pierce (February 6, 2015). "Knee Replacement Device Unapproved, but Used in Surgery". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. Retrieved April 11, 2017. 
  15. ^ "Implant Maker Fixed Samples Only". Washington Post. December 4, 2005. Retrieved April 11, 2017. 
  16. ^ "Breast implants: FDA stands by silicone implants". Los Angeles Times. June 23, 2011. Retrieved April 11, 2017. 
  17. ^ "Hip implants a bit more likely to fail in women". The Boston Globe. Associated Press. February 19, 2013. Retrieved April 11, 2017. 
  18. ^ "FDA panel supports firm's breast implant". boston.com. Retrieved April 11, 2017. 
  19. ^ SELF Staffers (January 26, 2011). "The True Price of Cheap Cosmetic Surgery". SELF. Retrieved April 11, 2017. 
  20. ^ "Key Staff". National Center for Health Research. Retrieved April 11, 2017. 
  21. ^ "Are Breast Implants Safe?". Medscape. Retrieved April 11, 2017. 
  22. ^ https://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2015/06/25/us/politics/ap-us-contraception-device-fda.html
  23. ^ http://center4research.org/public-policy/testimony-briefings-statements/statementdapagliflozin/[full citation needed]
  24. ^ "Statement by Dr. Diana Zuckerman, Capitol Hill Press Conference". The Cancer Prevention and Treatment Fund. November 14, 2012. Retrieved April 11, 2017.