Re: Re : help put pressure on the U.S. president to choose the right FDA

From: Anders Sandberg (asa@nada.kth.se)
Date: Sun May 20 2001 - 09:23:11 MDT


On Sun, May 20, 2001 at 01:02:04PM +0200, Joao Pedro de Magalhaes wrote:
> As someone who works on gerontology, I must say that the FDA has a useful
> purpose. I know some of you think that it would be better if the FDA would
> not exist at all. But FDA regulation has its logic in filtering the products
> that are available to the public. The truth is: a large percentage of
> products being sold as capable of delaying aging are crap, which gives the
> aging field a bad reputation.

As I see it, we want both medical freedom and medical quality. On one
hand we want to be able to chose whatever treatments we think will
benefit us - even quite risky or as yet unproven ones. On the other hand
we also want to have some guarantees of efficacy so we can make rational
decisions.

I think FDA and its clones in other countries once started out as a way
of strengthening the second side. But then the usual government
monopolism ideas crept in, aided by the sometimes guild mentality of the
medical profession. The result is the current situation where such
organisations limit medical freedom.

The solution is to find a better way of achiving both goals. The fact
that there is a lot of junk around could be handled by finding more
efficient forms of consumer information, possibly based on the various
net enhancement and review board schemes being considered. Instead of
having a binary (or trinary as in the case of Sweden) registration
system with a very high and expensive threshold to become registered a
more fine grained system could be used, where each level would
correspond to how well the treatment had been tested. This would help
speed the appearance of new pharmaceuticals too. The downside is of
course that such a system would demand more from the individual using it
than just trusting the FDA, but I think the benefits would outweigh the
problems.

-- 
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Anders Sandberg                                      Towards Ascension!
asa@nada.kth.se                            http://www.nada.kth.se/~asa/
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