The Left’s Invisible Victims


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Particularly egregious examples are: The FDA’s 10-year delay in approving alprenolol, a beta-blocker, sold for three years in Europe, cost more than 10,000 lives per year. The three-year delay in the approval of misoprostol, a drug for the treatment of gastric bleeding that cost between 8,000 and 15,000 lives per year. The lag in the approval of streptokinase for the treatment of occluded coronary arteries cost more than 10,000 lives per year.

FDA erring on the side of over-caution makes the average cost of bringing a drug to the market close to $1 billion. When an FDA official proudly announces the approval of a major new drug, someone should ask him: If this drug is going to start saving lives tomorrow, how many people died yesterday, last week, last month or last year waiting for the drug to be approved? A drug company CEO could give you the answer if he weren’t fearful of FDA retaliation.

Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) represents Congress’ way to force manufacturers to produce more fuel-efficient cars. Manufacturers meet CAFE standards by producing lighter weight and hence less crash-worthy cars. According to a Brookings Institution study, a 500-lb weight reduction of the average car increased annual highway fatalities by 2,200-3,900 and serious injuries by 11,000 and 19,500 per year. A National Highway Transportation and Safety Administration study demonstrated that reducing a vehicle’s weight by only 100 pounds increased the fatality rate by as much as 5.63 percent for light cars, 4.70 percent for heavier cars and 3.06 percent for light trucks. These rates translated into additional traffic fatalities of 13,608 for light cars, 10,884 for heavier cars and 14,705 for light trucks between 1996 and 1999.

Congressmen have full knowledge of these life and death statistics but doing the bidding of environmentalists and other interest groups is more important than American lives. There ought to be a way to make the invisible victims of Congress visible.

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  • flowerknife_us

    Lightweight cars with batteries vs. tractor trailers. So much for "safer" highways.

  • Grob Hahn

    Having unrestrained children on aircraft was foolish to begin with. Doing it to compete on fares was even worse. Now they are to be condemned for instituting long overdue safety measures because some families will decide it's not worth the price?
    Grobbbbbbbbb

  • McKean

    The real problem is not errors but intentional destruction of anything they can destruct without being put out of business.

  • wesley69

    As EPA enforces laws governing the environment, or the FCC enforces laws dealing with interstate and international communications, an agency makes regulations to carry out a law in their area of responsibility. The agencies presented in this article, such as the FDA, under the Health and Human Services Department, and the NTSB, an independent agency like NASA, the EPA, are just some of the many departments, agencies created by Congress over the years.

    Some agencies prefer to make policy, which is not their function, but that of Congress. The problem is overregulation, which can be costly and dangerous for people as well as job-killing. The red tape created by these agencies may cause businesses to raise prices, move out of the country or shut down totally. Depending upon the people in charge of a particular agency, its interpretation of their duties can be conservative or extremely radical. Under the Obama regime, radicals have been appointed to many agencies reflecting Mr. O’s belief in big government running every aspect of our lives and that of business.

    All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent.
    Thomas Jefferson

  • http://www.moderatesunited.blogspot.com Barry Cooper

    I have argued for some time that approving drugs should be a private sector function. The example I would use is Underwriter's Labs, which tests most all electrical devices for fire safety among other things, or the Canadian Standards Association.

    Anything anyone wants to sell should be made available, but if it has not been vetted, it should note the fact on the label. Perhaps the label could literally read "Caveat Emptor".

    Freedom is not Nanny State preventing us from being stupid. I would go so far as to argue that any nation in which it has been made impossible to be stupid, will for that very reason BECOME stupid. We're halfway there already.

  • Jim Johnson

    Testing for new drugs has a protocol that must be followed with great rigor. This is not always the case especially for off label use. Off label use is sometimes promoted by the enthusiasm of the Doctors that are using it off label. That enthusiasm is greatly appreciated by drug companies who will see to it that the espousing Doctors are given favorable notoriety for benefit of their careers.

    Not speed but through testing is the important thing.