Friday, February 18, 2005


"Don't Vilify Drug Companies" expresses my own opinion about how the big pharmaceutical companies are all too often the scapegoats of modern medicine.

Drug companies - "Big Pharmas" - are the villains of medicine and health care, at least according to much media, many politicians and lots of polls. The logic of that blame is perverse. I think it also shows a stunning and very American ingratitude.

Our scapegoating of drug companies says much more about us than them. Our childish and unrealistic view of drug makers rests on twin towers of American infantilism. We want something for nothing. And we want to be protected from all risks and compensated when bad things happen, when we become "victims."

The population of Western nations at the start of the 21st century is by far the healthiest population in human history. We take that for granted. We routinely expect what in truth are medical miracles. And we expect these miracles to come for free - and risk-free. Reality, of course, doesn't work that way. And so we affix blame: on insurance companies, on HMOs, on doctors, but mostly, these days, on drug companies.

We expect drug companies to be altruistic, not to be motivated by profits, unless, of course, we have pharmaceuticals in our union pension plan or 401(k). We expect them to invent in just a few years medicines that will be used for decades without side effects. We expect perfect regulation of these companies. And we expect that if anything ever goes wrong, we should be able to sue the pants off the drug companies and get compensated.

Read the entire piece, which is a timely essay as the media and government prepare to scapegoat the drug companies yet again.

Here is an example of the incredible arrogance and insufferable condescention of one FDA bureaucrat:"FDA Scientist: No Need for Pain Drugs"

I find myself (not so) secretly hoping that Dr. David Graham, associate director for science and medicine at the FDA's Office of Drug Safety suffers horribly from osteoarthritis at the least. What a goon.

As I have said in a previous post : publish the risks and let the people decide for themselves whether they "need" these drugs.

UPDATE: In a radical departure from emotion and hype, a FDA panel today has decided that the BENEFITS of these pain medications outweigh the RISKS, and will permit them to remain on the market. Expect an outcry from the Left about the collusion of government with business to kill people.

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