Sunday, May 27, 2012

End the FDA

Opposition to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) practice of using randomized trials to determine the safety and efficacy of treatments is picking up steam.

On the right, Tea Parties oppose the existence of government regulation in an industry and claim that randomized trials are a con spiracy or something promoted by the liberal elite. In a letter to Sen. Thad Cochran one constitution wrote that "a real man knows when he feels better and when he doesn't" while "the spineless at Harvard use people as guinea pigs" to decide which pills to take.

On the left, those traditionally in favor of heavy handed government regulation that drives up prices for corporate cronies and protects consumers, have shifted to opposing randomized trials. They note that sometimes unsafe pills make it through trials or harm people during the trials. They argue that, as with the death penalty, if one innocent person ever dies as a result of a drug innovation policy then the policy is unjust. Critics have noted that, as with the death penalty, if drug innovation saves more lives than it eliminates then a reasonable analysis would consider the costs and the benefits but liberals have responded by covering their ears and shouting "I'm not listening."

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