Arnold Kling  

Explaining Pharmaceutical Regulation

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David Masten has a brilliant way of explaining the impact of regulation on the pharmaceutical industry. He imagines a world in which computers are regulated like pharmaceuticals.

- the Electronics and Computers Administration would have just approved the Intel i486 for prescription use, and just approved the Apple ][ for over the counter sale.
- Any reasonable computer would require a recommendation from a properly licensed computer professional who has a PhD in Computer Science and several years experience.
- You will want to check with your insurance company to see if they will cover the costs of a Macintosh or they will only cover a white box 8088.

UPDATE: See also Don Boudreaux, who imagines regulating stocks and bonds like pharmaceuticals. This is one of a series of posts by Don arguing to abolish the FDA.

For Discussion. How should pharmaceuticals be regulated differently from computers?

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COMMENTS (2 to date)
Lawrance George Lux writes:

How should pharmaceuticals be regulated differently from computers?

Answer a Question with a Question: How should they be commonly regulated?

1) Both should be bonded for Malpractice award, if there is an inferiority of function.
2) All Patents should be issued to both and all, on the basis of a devisable unit royalty, with Production open to All in payment of royalty to Designers. (Let the Patents operate forever.)
3) Let entrance into the arena be quite simple, with passage of State Boards and provision of Bond. lgl

Bernard Yomtov writes:

I don't consider it brilliant, I consider it idiotic. It is example number 3,478,212 of the Marxist-like libertarian habit of claiming that any deviation from ideology produces disaster.

Does Masten honestly believe that without the FDA we would be twenty years or so further on in pharmaceutical development? If so, maybe he tell us why instead of writing this junk.

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