Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Stem Cells - The Wrong Priority

A big fight is brewing in Congress over expanding research into embryonic stem cells. Of the various types of stem cells, only embryonic ones are controversial, so, naturally, that is the one Congress wants to ram down people's throats. Research on the other types has been proceeding, and progress is being made. Never-the-less, if any usable products come out of this research, it likely will be in 20 or 30 years.

Where should Congress be looking to get more life-saving bang for the buck? The FDA. There are numerous drugs, existing today, that could, and should be saving thousands of lives every year. The problem, the bureaucrats at the FDA, loving to throw around their power, make the manufacturers of these drugs jump through one hoop after another, while people die. When other federal agencies play bureaucratic games, people are inconvenienced or lose money, but when the FDA bureaucrats play these games, people die. These bureaucrats are murdering tens of thousands of Americans as surely as if they were stuffing them into gas chambers. It is murder through negligence and reckless disregard for people's safety, rather than through active acts, but it is murder none-the-less.

Congress should return the FDA to its original mandate: to pass on the safety of drugs. That is very quick. It is convincing the FDA bureaucrats of the efficacy of the drugs that takes many years and hundreds of millions of dollars. Doctors are quite capable of judging the efficacy of drugs. They do not need the FDA bureaucrats for that. We could have cheaper drugs years earlier with no added risk to our safety.


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