Monday, July 28, 2014

What About a Private Alternative to the FDA?

Veronique de Rugy writes:
Imagine a world where everyone — I really mean everyone — has access to modern, affordable, high-quality health care. In this world, doctors don’t need to beg bureaucrats and insurance administrators for permission to save lives. Entrepreneurs here actively compete to lower prices and invent novel solutions. Imagine, in other words, a world in which our health-care system is dragged out of the Stone Age and into the modern, competitive market economy.

One important step in that direction will be to cut the wings of one of the biggest obstacles of innovations in health care: the Food and Drug Administration. The FDA is the quintessential example of an agency that works by the “precautionary principle” norm. In the name of protecting people from everything at any cost, against their will if need be, it imposes an incredible regulatory burden on health-care innovators, which then translates into higher costs and fewer new products available to consumers. In some cases, the FDA’s intervention in the health-care market slows down access to certain drugs or it makes some drugs and technologies unaffordable to poor people. In extreme cases, it kills people who could have been saved if they had had access to a drug and a technology.

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