Author- William Baumgarth
The Federal Drug Administration is America’s leading administration in determining what drugs can and can’t enter the market. The administration was founded in 1906. In addition to determining what drugs can enter the market, the FDA has the same power for food, and tobacco.
The FDA is a dangerous administration, and costly as well. Their annual budget in 2012 was 4.36 billion dollars. The FDA puts lives at danger every day with their strict, and disorganized guidelines.
A report conducted by the General Accounting Office found that average drug approval times in four other countries were anywhere between 6 and 18 months shorter than the FDAs approval time. Imagine how many lives were lost in the process, because the FDA is so inefficient at approving drugs? How many people needed a medicine, badly, because they had a terminal illness, but were unable to get it because the FDA had not yet approved it?
The ironic thing is that the FDA doesn’t let terminally ill patients try out medicines, because it hasn’t been proved that they are “safe” yet. When you’re terminally ill, you’re already not “safe.” Why not let people take the chance? Why keep people “safe” when they are at a high risk of dying anyway?
If a person wants to take an experimental medication, it should be his/her own decision. The person should do their own research on the medicine, and then decide whether he/she wants to take it or not. If a person has taken a series of “FDA approved” drugs and none of them work, what is the person supposed to do? Die, because the FDA says that alternative medications may endanger the person’s life? It’s ludicrous.
The Prescription Drug User Fee Act of 1992 required that drug companies pay up to 500,000 dollars in order to get their medications approved by the FDA. This money could have went into additional research or something useful. What happens if a small drug company came up with a life saving drug, but did not have 500 grand sitting around to waste? How many lives would be lost because of this?
If the FDA is so effective, why are more people killed by FDA approved drugs than illegal drugs? It’s a tremendously dangerous and a complete waste of resources. An estimated 10 percent of America has a rare disease, there are thousands of rare diseases, and most of them have no treatment approved by the FDA.
The FDA also incentivizes people not to do their own research. Everything approved by the FDA must be 100 percent safe, therefore nobody bothers doing research on what medicines they’re taking. Often my friends will mention a medication they’re taking, whether it be for depression, anxiety etc. and more often than not, they don’t even know what it is! They just call it “my medicine.” When I try to ask them whether or not they know the chemical name, 9/10 times it will be a “no.”
Recently the FDA called for “low nicotine cigarettes.” Something that would be absolutely devastating for smokers. Smokers buy high nicotine cigarettes for a reason, so that they can smoke less. Nicotine on its own is not that bad for you, what is bad for you is inhaling burning plant materials, and sugars that are contained in cigarettes. By taking the action, the FDA would effectively be making smokers, smoke more cigarettes. Instead of just lighting one cigarette, I may smoke 2 or 3 now in order to “feel” something.
The FDA is the same group of people that banned raw milk. Even though people have been drinking raw milk since the beginning of time. It’s none of their business whether or not you want to drink raw milk. Personally, I’ve drank raw milk, and I did not experience death, or life threatening illness. Do you want your money going towards banning raw milk?
Private firms could determine the safety of drugs in a much quicker, and efficient way. Instead of having the FDA label drugs “safe” or “unsafe,” people could take medicines approved by private firms with good reputations. So if a company wants people to try its medication, they would send in an application to the private firm with a good reputation. If the drug is found to be safe, a label issued by the private firm would be allowed to be placed on it. At the same time, this wouldn’t stop people from trying drugs that aren’t approved.
I feel as if I have done a disservice only writing about one or two pages on this topic, as there is really a lot to it. The purpose of this article was to introduce you to the idea. I think the FDA must be abolished in the name of saving lives. Below I will attach more resources so that you can do your own research and read more into it.