Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Wolf OpEd: The FDA's One-Man Death Panel

Dr. Milton Wolf has a great new OpEd in the 6/22/2011 Washington Times, "The FDA's one-man death panel".

In his piece, he nicely summarizes the controversy over the FDA's decision to slow down the approval of the anti-cancer drug Avastin. Then he makes this crucial broader point:
The FDA, despite its intentions, drives up the costs of medicines and often dries up the supply chain altogether. America is currently facing a shortage of about 246 drugs - a record high. This doesn't happen by accident. Consider the alarming conclusions reached, not by the supposedly evil pharmaceutical companies, but by physicians and pharmacists at last year's Drug Shortages Summit.

A joint report by the American Society of Anesthesiologists, the American Society of Oncology, the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists and the Institute for Safe Medication Practices sounded the alarm: "Several drug shortages have been precipitated by actual or anticipated action by the FDA." They note that the "cost and complexity" of the FDA's "regulatory barriers" to providing new and even existing medicines is a "disincentive" to suppliers. Additionally, the "lengthy and unpredictable" approval process limits manufacturer's ability to develop reliable production schedules.

The Obama doctrine to keep the government’s "boot on the neck" of private-sector companies is not just limited to Big Oil. A nanny state that won't trust you to choose your own light bulbs certainly won't approve of even a life-saving medication until every bureaucrat has had his say in triplicate. Americans have landed on the moon and mapped the human genome and yet we suffer from the self-imposed scientific stagnation created by the FDA.
(Read the full text of "The FDA's one-man death panel".)

For more information on how ordinary Americans can submit input to government officials on the Avastin issue, visit Dr. Wolf's website.