Deadly, Expensive, and Foolish Policies from the Food and Drug Administration

Deadly, Expensive, and Foolish Policies from the Food and Drug Administration

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How much power should the Food and Drug Administration wield over public health, the health of the individual, the terminally ill, drug treatments and the rights of doctors to treat/prescribe certain medications to patients.  Again, what about the terminally ill and their right to choose?

Where do we draw the line?  Where do we allow the FDA to draw the line (as if, we had a choice)?

International Liberty by Daniel J. Mitchell

Today, let’s get specific and look at the Food and Drug Administration. This bureaucracy ostensibly is supposed to protect us by making sure drugs and medical devices are safe and effective before getting approval, which seems like it might be a reasonable role for government.

But the FDA routinely does really foolish things that undermine public health. The likely reason is that the bureaucracy has a bad incentive structure. As Professor Alex Tabarrok has explained.

…the FDA has an incentive to delay the introduction of new drugs because approving a bad drug (Type I error) has more severe consequences for the FDA than does failing to approve a good drug (Type II error). In the former case at least some victims are identifiable and the New York Times writes stories about them and how they died because the FDA failed. In the latter case, when the FDA fails to approve a good drug, people die but the bodies are buried in an invisible graveyard.

This video from Learn Liberty looks at some data on how the FDA’s Type II errors have led to thousands of deaths, but mostly focuses on whether people and medical professionals should have the freedom to makes choices different from what the FDA has officially blessed.

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Continue Reading — Deadly, Expensive, and Foolish Policies from the Food and Drug Administration

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