It started with Ed Sullivan, the guy who built the 'Nevyas Laser', a man already under scrutiny by the FDA...
"Ed Sullivan, doing business as ExSull, Drexel Hill, Pa, has been put on notice by the FDA that the agency regards him "clearly as a manufacturer with multiple manufacturing sites" subject to FDA rules and regulations and, if he makes another one of these excimer lasers "which are unapproved devices," he will be in violation of the federal Food, Drug and Cosmetics Act and subject to legal penalties, according to top-ranking FDA officials within the national Division of Enforcement." [as written in The Journal of Refractive Surgery - Volume 11 (5) * September/October 1995 * News and can be found at the url address http://www.slackinc.com/eye/jrs/vol115/news1.htm]
And the FDA knew that! From the affidavit Herbert Nevyas submitted to the FDA, it tells of Ed Sullivan building their laser. However, documents show Mr. Sullivan in teleconferences and meetings with the doctors and their liaison with the FDA well after this article was written.
After I received inspection reports even less redacted from the FDA regarding inspections of the Nevyas' facility, the FDA promised "to do what they could to help me", but then refused after copies of the inspection reports were returned. In fact Les Weinstein, the CDRH Ombudsman, outright told me (through his secretary) he could no longer have any communication with me. It seems to me (based on my communications with the FDA) that the FDA was more concerned with being sued by the Nevyases for the information released, then by doing the right thing.
The inspection reports of Sullivan's facility below were obtained via the Freedom Of Information Act. Regardless of these reports and the articles written concerning 'Homegrown Lasers", is this what the FDA considers "protecting the public's safety"?
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The FDA issued warning letters regarding the lasers Sullivan built, but STILL allowed doctors to further modify and use these devices on people considering LASIK!