m.b. wrote:the FDA is a bureaucratic clusterfuck that is as corrupt as any government agency out there. there are several very good medications from several manufacturers that are approved in every country of the world but the US, that have done phenomenally well and helped thousands, if not millions, of people. they haven't been approved in the U.S. because the right wheels haven't been greased.
but keep showing us what you (don't) know.
if merck ignored safety protocols and a few people died they'd be out of business. a healthcare/drug company that gets the reputation of killing a few people doesn't last very long (especially in a country that's run by lawyers). that's the way the free markets work...most people don't need the government to tell them what to do. unlike big government liberals, the people that run these companies understand this.
it's funny you bring up merck for your example though... you remember a great drug called vioxx? remember what happened there? multi-billion dollar drug that was voluntarily (that means without the government even suggesting they do it) pulled from the market. merck's biggest seller ever, and they pulled it on their own. many people (myself included) believe that it should still be on the market albeit with a black box warning re: maintenance therapy.
why did merck pull it? they found out there were increased risks, and perhaps deaths, associated with it so they yanked it out of fear of what would happen - lawsuits and a bad public image that would put them out of business. they realized that if they did what the largely ignorant public thought was right, it would look better for them in the long run. pulling vioxx also killed arcoxia, the "2nd generation vioxx" that the company had spent billions developing and was about to launch.
next time try using an example that doesn't perfectly illustrate my point.
you need more examples? do some homework on PhRMA and get back to us on what purpose they serve (hint: you won't find it on their website).
and you can't pin any of the deepwater horizon shit on Bush. Obama himself admitted that he was responsible. do you need me to bump that link up again? i know upsetter dudn't want that one coming back.
Ok, so you're saying that because the FDA won't approve some drugs that could make some drug reps lots of money, its a clusterfuck?
And no, the Merck example doesn't prove me wrong, it illustrates my point. You're right that they acted in the interest of the public and their shareholders without gov't intervention. This makes them very diff't from BP, which has shown that they will not voluntarily do what's right regarding safety. Despite multiple penalties from gov't regulators, they continue to cut corners and gamble with safety in the interest of profitability. Given this history, why shouldn't they be subject to greater scrutiny and regulation?
You're right that as long as corporations f' up, there will be some who think that gov't oversight could have fixed it. Its also true that as long as gov't regulations exist, some will blame businesses' profitability struggles on the reg's. They're both sometimes wrong, and sometimes right. What needs to happen is that we design rules that are sufficient to keep shareholder's interests from crapping on the public good without overly burdening the corporations with needless rules.
The definition of where that tipping point lies is likely to change depending on which party's in power: more strict during Dem control, and more lax during GOP control. If the Dem's strictness is assumed to have caused more harm than good, they'll have a harder time getting campaign contributions and votes. The same applies for the GOP. If one side or the other goes too far, the people are able to fire them via elections, and the regulatory pendulum swings the other way.
David Brooks wrote a column on the topic the other day http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/20/opini ... avidbrooks
that seems about right, except that I think the GOP is much more able to reduce regulations once they're in power than he implies is possible.