MacArthur Fellows Program

Sidney M. Wolfe

Physician and Public Health Leader | Class of 1990

Physician and Public Health Leader
Washington, District of Columbia
Area of Focus
Health Policy
Published August 1, 1990

About Sidney's Work

Sidney Wolfe is a physician and the director of the Public Citizen Health Research Group in Washington, D.C.

Wolfe works as a public-interest researcher and advocate, especially in the areas of drug and medical-device regulation, health-care delivery, and occupational health.  The analytical work of the health research group has resulted in government-imposed bans or limitations on certain prescription and over-the-counter drugs and medical devices, and in the dissemination of information showing the differences among doctors, hospitals, and state health programs.


Wolfe is the director of the Public Citizen Health Research Group. He is a member of the American Public Health Association and of the Society for General Internal Medicine. He has written several consumer guides to medicines, including Over the Counter Pills That Don’t Work (1983), Women’s Health Alert (1991), Worst Pills Best Pills II (1993), and a book, Questionable Doctors (1995), listing more than 13,000 doctors disciplined by state governments or the federal government. He is the editor of two consumer newsletters, Health Letter, published since 1985, and Worst Pills Best Pills News, introduced in 1995.

Wolfe received a B.S. (1960) and an M.D. (1965) from Case Western Reserve University.

Last updated January 1, 2005

Select News Coverage of Sidney M. Wolfe
March 6, 2014
"Shine Lecturer Sidney Wolfe: FDA’s Drug Review Process is Broken"
Boston University School of Public Health
Sidney M. Wolfe , 1990 MacArthur Fellow
June 14, 2013
"Public Citizen's Wolfe Still Needling FDA"
From MedPage Today
Sidney Wolfe, MacArthur Fellow, 1990
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