Cheap Drugs!

David Henderson and co-author, Charles Hooper, has some advice to consider if you’d like cheaper drugs: more competition.

I liked their recommendations because they are practical and I think they would be effective. I especially like this one (from his longer WaPo article that he links to in the above linked blog post):

If we simply went back to pre-1962 law, the FDA could still require proof of safety, but would not be able to require evidence on efficacy. This one change would allow drugs to be developed a full 10 years faster. Market success would establish efficacy — or not. If the drugs didn’t work, usage would fall. Could there be ineffective drugs? Sure. But as doctors and patients learn, such drugs would disappear over time.


Their solution, simply print this on the label:


Those who wish to wait for FDA to tell them that its effective, can. Those who want to try and see if it works for them are free to do so, as well.

What’s the downside? That some people spend money on a cheap drug that doesn’t work? They spend money all the time on things that don’t work, so what’s the difference with drugs?

Safety? Henderson and Hooper do not recommend eliminating safety testing. Just allowing drugs to come to market before its effectiveness is tested.



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