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Do We Require the FDA?

I know I complain about it a lot, and I understand that there are certain instances where the government is perhaps trying to do the right thing. What I don't understand is why we're not allowed to do our own thing if we recognize the potential consequences and…

I know I complain about it a lot, and I understand that there are certain instances where the government is perhaps trying to do the right thing. What I don’t understand is why we’re not allowed to do our own thing if we recognize the potential consequences and make that choice.

If there are people who want the protection of the government inspecting/validating food and drugs, that’s fine. Let them pay for it. On the other hand, if there are people who want to forego those options, they ought to be able to do so.

Recently the federal government announced that states aren’t allowed to get drugs from Canada. This sounds like protectionism at its finest. There is likely a component of such a ruling that’s trying to keep the US drug makers from having to actually face competition. There is also surely a part of this decision that allows the government to keep control of things. Neither is healthy in the long term.

Meanwhile, officials in Montgomery, Alabama are on track to save nearly half a million dollars by challenging this sort of ruling, and that’s exactly what should happen in a free society. If you want to pay for the FDA, by all means you should do so. But if I don’t, then I ought to be allowed to opt out and escape all this unnecessary government regulation. I’ll take my chances with the alternatives, thank you very much.

Sometimes we must depend on our own judgment, and simply live with the results of that judgment. If I want to buy drugs from another country, be they legal, prescribed drugs or those that the government has deemed illegal, it’s none of their business.

2 replies on “Do We Require the FDA?”

Hi Dave –

Great points – I always enjoy lively discussion!

I have no problem whatsoever with agreeing to not participate in any plan that I choose to opt out of, provided it happens quickly (in the case of Social Security – not sure if there is a similar plan in Canada?).

I don’t think I understand your comment about me behaving in ways that would take money out of your pocket – do you mean as a drug manufacturer, or as another participant in a plan or some sort?

If the former, I have to believe that the free market is more important – a system that allows you to continuously pad your pockets is one that will, at some point, be horribly bad for the consumer.

If the latter, I’m not sure I understand – could you elaborate? If I choose to purchase and use a drug, for instance, not approved by the FDA, and I agree to shoulder all burdens incurred by that use, why would it affect you in any way?

Thanks again for the comment!

You do know why Canadian prescriptions cost less? Up here we have a public health insurance program, something I’m guessing you’d oppose based on your statements regarding government intervention and making your own decisions about various issues. The buying power of our provincial health agencies (especially Ontario’s) are such that they can negotiate exceedingly favourable prices from drug manufacturers. There are also differences in our laws regarding drug manufacture and generic drugs.

On the whole, while I can appreciate your position vis a vis government decisions (carbon-monoxide detectors etc., etc.), I do have to say that your view is a little blinkered when it comes to taking a complete look at the consequences of your position.

I’d be all for your “let us opt” out stance if it also included the provision that once you opt out that you no longer could participate in insurance plans of any sort, nor could you ever sue anyone who has insurance. The sad fact of the insurance industry is that we all share in the costs of everyone’s decisions everytime insurance companies payout on a policy.

For me this isn’t even about government, it’s about how insurance works. If you want to be free to behave in ways that will take money out of my pocket then I do have an interest in the way you behave. Perhaps instead of railing against governemnt you might want to set your sights on the financial structure we all share.

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