Posted by Lorren on September 12, 2014
I just read a comment from someone who said that we are spending too much on drug research, and that we can’t, as a society, afford to pay to find a cure for everything. That is true, but it did get me thinking… it costs too much money to get a drug to market these days.
I understand why it costs so much to get a drug to market. Drug companies (and the government) want drugs to be safe when they get to the consumer. Drug companies do not want to be sued if the drug has unwanted side effects. While that is noble and good, it also keeps people from getting drugs for conditions that they will otherwise die from.
So wouldn’t the solution be to create an “experimental” class of medications? These would be medications that have been tested, but not as rigorously as the medications that are not experimental. Since these drugs have not been fully tested, they would be a “take at your own risk” class of drugs. Drug companies would be liable to pay damages only if they knowingly had information that these drugs were harmful but didn’t relay that information on to the customers. After a certain period of time (and perhaps more testing) these drugs could eventually make it out of the experimental phase and become regular drugs.
People probably wouldn’t want to take an experimental headache medication, but they might be interested in an experimental medication for Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, or cancer. These diseases can severely reduce the quality of or even end a life, so some people would gladly try out an experimental medicine for these conditions. There will also be people who aren’t interested in experimental medication, but that should be a choice.
Experimental medication probably won’t happen though. The government these days doesn’t want to allow anybody to have to take any responsibility for their decisions. Why else would raw milk be illegal in places? Why do people need to go to doctors to get prescriptions (they don’t in Mexico). Why have helmet or seat belt laws for adults? That’s one of the things that I love about Arizona law… people don’t have to wear helmets if they don’t want to. I always point out idiots not wearing helmets to my kids when I see them riding by. I want them to know that they are idiots for not wearing helmets, but I also want them to understand that they should have the right to be idiots. But that’s another completely different subject. It’s not idiotic to want to try an experimental medication for a deadly disease that might end up in nasty complications, but the government probably wouldn’t allow it.