Thursday, April 25, 2013

Rand Paul Fails the Big Test

Sen. Rand Paul took to the Senate floor today to deliver a touching speech that provided details of how the Federal Drug Administration is delaying drugs for those suffering with  Neurofibromatosis Type 2 and Pulmonary Fibrosis. He called for certain drugs that treat these ailments to be allowed to be used in the United States.

Yet, during the entire speech he did not mention the culprit, the FDA, that is doing the horrific by banning these drugs in the U.S. Further, he did not call for the abolition of the FDA. He did not make the necessary link between the FDA and medical totalitarianism. Why should the FDA, captured by the way by Big Pharma, be the beginning and end when it comes to determining which drugs are to be used in the U.S. and which are not? Why not allow consumers to determine whose expertise and testing methods should be relied on? Let's have multiple testing forums, but most of all let's have freedom. And what's with Rand being afraid to finger the FDA?

Here's the video of Rand's speech, followed by the transcript.


My nephew Mark Pyeatt has neurofibromatosis 2 but that is not who he is. He is an indomitable spirit, a courageous young man, a man who knows and faces each day certain that he is one with his God. He is like many young people in search of the truth. He reads. He thinks but he no longer hears.

Neurofibromatosis 2 is characterized by recurrent neurologic tumors and its signature tumor is one of the auditory nerve. It’s relentless course ultimately destroys the hearing.

I have never heard Mark complain. While my signing is only rudimentary, most of his immediate family are proficient and at Christmas dinner for forty family members, nearly everyone is trying to learn to sign.

The grandkids sing, “Happy Birthday, Jesus. I’m so glad you came.” The whole family is learning to communicate with their hands.

I mostly like to learn insults so I can taunt Mark on the golf course. I can’t use most of the signs I’ve learned on television. I don’t know this for certain, but I think the seven words George Carlin used - cannot be said or signed on TV.

I love the way names for people in sign language are created only by the deaf. Mark’s mother Lori is L to the ear. My wife Kelley is K sweet. My middle son Duncan is D in a hoop.

Neurofibromatosis 2 is a rare disease. Some call it an orphan disease. Orphan diseases face certain obstacles that other diseases do not. Money is allocated typically for research based on how prevalent the disease is. For rare diseases the resources are likewise rare.

In order for investors to invest in a cure for neurofibromatosis 2, regulatory obstacles need to be cleared. We need to allow foreign drug studies to be accepted and not repeated in the US. We need to have speedy approval for drugs that are already being used by the general populace in foreign countries.

My chief of staff’s sister Karen has pulmonary fibrosis, another orphan disease. She is 40 years old with a young daughter, and she is likely only alive today through a fluke in the system.

She takes a medication that is part of an experimental trial in the US but has been on the general market for years in Japan. If she did not live near a center of research it would be illegal for her to take the drug. If her family did not pay the 1500 per month out of pocket, she could not receive it. This drug should clearly have been approved already. It went through trials here, it is already approved in Europe and Japan. 200,000 Americans are denied it today.

We all want safety in drugs and cures. We all acknowledge that it is a balancing act. We should all acknowledge that the regulatory obstacles and burdens new drugs face in our country are oppressive and counterproductive.

My hope is by putting a face on two orphan diseases, that are close to my family and friends, others will come to realize we must do something to get rid of government obstacles to cure.


  1. From Rothbard:

    If, then, the libertarian must advocate the immediate attainment of liberty and abolition of statism, and if gradualism in theory is contradictory to this overriding end, what further strategic stance may a libertarian take in today’s world? Must he necessarily confine himself to advocating immediate abolition? Are “transitional demands,” steps toward liberty in practice, necessarily illegitimate? No…

    How, then, can we know whether any halfway measure or transitional demand should be hailed as a step forward or condemned as an opportunistic betrayal? There are two vitally important criteria for answering this crucial question: (1) that, whatever the transitional demands, the ultimate end of liberty be always held aloft as the desired goal; and (2) that no steps or means ever explicitly or implicitly contradict the ultimate goal.

    1. GREAT POINT! However, he must at some point draw a line.

    2. He won't draw a line. What he is missing is step (1) from the Rothbard quote; where is "the ultimate end of liberty" in Rand's statements?

      He is not libertarian; therefore there is no line to draw. He is a pragmatic politician, albeit with some senses that make him, on a relative scale, preferable to most. For this reason, those who place their hopes on him are left to trust his judgment and character, as is true with every other politician.

      At least with Ron Paul, you knew he would vote with the strictest interpretation of the Constitution in mind. Maybe not good enough for some libertarians, but at least it was principled.

  2. You are right, and keep the bright, critical light shining on him, Mr. Wenzel, so that others may understand that he is no bearer of the libertarian torch.

  3. Maybe he should grant them a patent on these drugs...