Whenever someone like me says, “You know, Government is too big, too expensive, and costs too much and we should take a hard look at the things Government does badly and remove Government from doing those things,” the inevitable response from the Progressive Left is, “So, you want to destroy the Government and live under Somalian warlords.” Because, obviously, there is no middle ground between gigantic Government with armies of bureaucrats invading every aspect of life and living in burned out cities under the control of warlords. (Which is also kind of what you get when you have unrestrained progressive left governance, but I digress.)
But anyway, one thing the progressive left insists on is that the Food and Drug Administration is absolutely essential because without it, corporations would poison our food and drugs because killing and sickening your customer base means only one thing… massive profits. (Progressives… really don’t get how business or economics works.)
But consider this: The FDA is a gigantic Government bureaucracy with monopolistic control over the USA’s supply of medicinal drugs. Here’s the death-count of people who died while waiting for FDA bureaucrats to approve drugs that had already been proven safe and effective.
- 40,000 people died of colo-rectal cancer while the FDA stalled approval of the drug Eloxatin.
- 179,000 people dead from cancer while FDA stalled approval of the drug Erbitux.
- 74,000 patients with terminal cancers died while FDA stalled approval of the drug Revlimid.
- 20,000 patients with kidney cancer while FDA stalled approval of the drugs Nexavar and Sutent
- 360,000 lung and colo-rectal cancer patients died while FDA stalled approval of the drug Avastin.
- 102,000 lung cancer patients died while FDA stalled approval of the drug Tarceva .
- 26,000 patients with non-Hodgkins lymphoma while FDA stalled approval of the drug Bexxar
- 249,000 lung cancer patients died while FDA stalled approval of the drug Alimta
It seems axiomatic that if a person is faced with a terminal illness, they and their physician should have access to any reasonably available treatment. Even if the drug doesn’t work, how would a terminal patient be any worse off for trying it. But the primary mission of any bureaucracy is to grow and perpetuate itself. The FDA doesn’t give a damn about cancer patients; it gives a damn about growing its workforce and its budget. Promptly approving cancer drugs does not achieve that objective.