I applaud Congress for the passage of FALCPA. Chairman Joe Barton and Ranking Member John D. Dingell in the House, Energy and Commerce Committee were instrumental in moving this bipartisan legislation forward. Representative Nita Lowey was the original sponsor of the legislation. FDA also applauds the dedication and leadership of the legislation's sponsors in the Senate, which include Senators Judd Gregg and Edward Kennedy.
The new label design makes it easier for doctors to get access to important information about drug safety and benefits, and this in turn will help them have more meaningful discussions with their patients. This redesigned label is a big step in our commitment to giving health professionals the tools and information they need to optimize their clinical practice and choose among a growing number of effective treatments to make more personalized prescribing decisions for their patients.
This operation suggests that drugs ordered from so-called 'Canadian' Internet sites are not drugs of known safety and efficacy. These results make clear there are Internet sites that claim to be 'Canadian' that, in fact, are peddling drugs of dubious origin, safety, and efficacy. We believe that these 'bait and switch' tactics --- offering patients one thing and then giving them something else -- are misleading to patients and potentially harmful to the public health.
In the last month, we have announced important steps toward creating an electronic environment for drug safety and effectiveness information that can provide patients and healthcare professionals with critical information at the point of care. This revised prescription information format, in combination with new requirements for electronic labels announced earlier this month and requirements for barcodes on drugs will dramatically improve the way healthcare professionals and consumers obtain information about prescription drugs.
We believe that nanotechnology will have a transformative effect on cancer diagnosis and treatment. In fact, its impact is already visible in the research being conducted through many of the centers we are announcing today. Through the applications of nanotechnology, we will increase the rate of progress towards eliminating the suffering and death due to cancer.
There are initiatives in place to deter counterfeiters and those who sell fraudulent or phony products to prevent or treat avian flu. The use of unproven flu cures and treatments increases the risk of catching and spreading the flu rather than lessening it because people assume they are protected and safe and they aren't. I consider it a public health hazard when people are lured into using bogus treatments based on deceptive or fraudulent medical claims.
One of the biggest barriers research and academic institutions face is the ability to get discoveries made in the lab into clinical testing. The new Exploratory IND guidance emphasizes the flexibility available to researchers when conducting early clinical testing of these cutting-edge treatments. As we enter the era of personalized medicine, these exploratory approaches enable scientists to take full advantage of new technologies to target the development of more individualized therapies.