The Deadly FDA
January 14, 2008
Irvine, CA--The Supreme Court recently considered a petition to hear the case of Abigail Alliance for Better Access to Developmental Drugs v. von Eschenbach. The Abigail Alliance is challenging a lower court's ruling, which found that terminally ill patients do not have a right to take promising medicines that have yet to be approved by the FDA.
"Barring individuals from choosing what medicines to take is immoral and destructive," said Dr. Yaron Brook, executive director of the Ayn Rand Institute.
"The decision about what drugs to put in one's body rightfully belongs to the individual, not to FDA bureaucrats. To deny individuals this right is to impose a death sentence on those who, in the face of certain death, would rationally choose to accept the risks of an experimental treatment, but are barred from doing so until the urgently needed drug completes the FDA's onerous, years-long approval process. Indeed, this case was initiated by a group founded by the father of a girl who died after she was denied access to an experimental anti-cancer drug the FDA later approved.
"Individuals, in consultation with their doctors, should be free to assess the evidence of a drug's effectiveness and safety, taking into account their own personal context (such as their unique risk factors, or the fact that they are certain to die without the treatment). Some people may take ineffective or harmful drugs, but FDA approval does not eliminate such risks. The individual always assumes some level of risk when deciding on a course of treatment, and it is capricious--and too often deadly--for the FDA to usurp the individual's right to decide which risks it is in his interest to accept.
"Anyone who values human life, and the freedom of judgment required to maintain it, should demand an end to the unnecessary deaths caused by FDA drug regulations."
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