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The W - Current Events & Politics - The 40 hour work week (Page 2)
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Big Bad
Scrapple








Since: 4.1.02
From: Dorchester, Ontario

Since last post: 5 hours
Last activity: 5 hours
#21 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.54
"In theory, communism works!"-- Homer Simpson

Sorry, it just had to be said.



"When this bogus term alternative rock was being thrown at every '70s retro rehash folk group, we were challenging people to new sonic ideas. If some little snotty anarchist with an Apple Mac and an attitude thinks he invented dance music and the big rock group is coming into his territory, [that's] ridiculous." - Bono, 1997
Doc_whiskey
Frankfurter








Since: 6.8.02
From: St. Louis

Since last post: 43 days
Last activity: 43 days
AIM:  
#22 Posted on
    Originally posted by Michrome
    No, I really do mean it. I fail to see why private companies can't handle the responsibility. The AAA does a pretty good job on rating car safety, and it's not a government program. We could just as easily create a Car Safety Association program by the government and put all of the private sector workers at AAA out of work...but it would force the prices on cars through the roof, and it wouldn't make them any safer. If AAA screws up, not only do they lose all credibility, they will get the pants sued off of them and will lose all business. The people working at the FDA are basically immune to lawsuits, and have no personal vested interest in the quality of the products they release. If there was no FDA, safety rating companies for medicines would pop up all over the place.

    Many drugs that are considered safe all over the world are unavailable to Americans because of the FDA. The real way to make drugs cheaper is to relegate the safety check process to the private sector. We wouldn't need prescription drug benefits if we could eliminate regulation.

    (edited by Michrome on 7.9.03 0216)



The problem is, if you leave it in the hands of the companies, they will rush things. They have to get a patent when they start developing the drug (even before they start testing it). Since a patent only runs about 10 years, they will rush through testing to get the thing on market, possibly missing serious side effects or contraindications. For auto industries it is different as major problems can be detected much easier than for a drug. The FDA has approved several drugs in the past before long term side effects (usually a liver or kidney problem) forced them to take them off the market. If it were up to a private company, they would not say a word about those problems unless it affected their bottom line. The FDA is an important organization that ensures that a company takes the necessary steps to ensure the safety of a companies drugs.



Mr. Burns: You are of course familiar with our state usury laws?
Homer:U-sur-y?
Mr. Burns: Oh silly me, I must have just used a word that doesn't exist.
Michrome
Head cheese








Since: 2.1.03

Since last post: 3869 days
Last activity: 2935 days
#23 Posted on | Instant Rating: 0.00

    If it were up to a private company, they would not say a word about those problems unless it affected their bottom line.


Exactly, it *would* affect their bottom line. They'd lose all credibility and all business if something like this ever happened. When the FDA fucks up, there is no alternative, and no accountability.


    The FDA is an important organization that ensures that a company takes the necessary steps to ensure the safety of a companies drugs.


Once again, we could create a department for vehicle safety tomorrow and say the same thing. There's no need for this when there is such a financial interest in doing a good job.
Doc_whiskey
Frankfurter








Since: 6.8.02
From: St. Louis

Since last post: 43 days
Last activity: 43 days
AIM:  
#24 Posted on
Pretty much what you are saying is you are all for the following scenario:

Patient: Yeah I have high cholesterol
Doctor: Heres this drug, the company that makes it says its the best available drug, and it works fine
Patient: Wait, didn't that company have problems with another drug that we found out contained antifreeze as a solvent (side note: dont laugh it has happened before)
Doctor: Yeah but they say that its fixed now and you have nothing to worry about.
Patient: How do I know.
Doctor: Because they say so.


Point: The FDA, for the safety of the consumer, need to be there to make sure drugs are safe and do what they say they do. Every drug company would release drugs years before they do if they could. Sometimes, the FDA's scrutiny was not needed as the drug is found to be very safe and very efficacious. In other cases, its a good thing they drug their feet as some potentially dangerous drugs have been kept off the market.

As far as bottom line, if it is a rare side effect, most companies would make an effort to sweep it under the rug, ratar than telling the public about it due to it possibly hurting their profit.



Mr. Burns: You are of course familiar with our state usury laws?
Homer:U-sur-y?
Mr. Burns: Oh silly me, I must have just used a word that doesn't exist.
Jaguar
Knackwurst








Since: 23.1.02
From: Phoenix, AZ

Since last post: 235 days
Last activity: 36 days
#25 Posted on
Another important distinction Michrome:

You don't need a car to survive. They are luxury items. You buy them because you want to, not because you'll die without them. If only one drug company is making a cure for your particular illness, you're forced to buy from them whether they have a horrible track record or not.

Now this is not true in all cases, but it's true in enough cases that it's not something I'd like to risk.

-Jag



Cybernetic Robotic Zombie
Michrome
Head cheese








Since: 2.1.03

Since last post: 3869 days
Last activity: 2935 days
#26 Posted on | Instant Rating: 0.00
It is still a matter of life and death. If the AAA screws up, people can die. Let's set up another fun convo:

Buyer: How do I know this car's safe
Seller: The Car safety association XXX says it is
Buyer: Yeah, but AAA is much more popular and has a record of being correct, so I'm going with them, and they say it's not safe.

The point is, companies will develop reputations for being good or not good almost immediately, and then items without seals of approval from the good companies will never be purchased because of consumer watchdog groups. If I ran a store called "Mike's drugs", and I sold them without any source of safety approval or anything, would YOU be stupid enough to buy them? Of course not. However, you seem to assume that everyone else is too stupid to realize this. Any mistake exposed will lead to a lawsuit that will shut down any company that didn't tell the truth. If the FDA screws up, what are the consequences? It's just like the way certain hotels are given ratings, and some ratings mean more than others to some people. It works well in the private sector everywhere else, why can't it work for medicine? The real crime is gouging senior citizens on the price of medicine because of regulatory processes and then using those prices as an excuse to fund programs for "affordable prescription drugs".
Doc_whiskey
Frankfurter








Since: 6.8.02
From: St. Louis

Since last post: 43 days
Last activity: 43 days
AIM:  
#27 Posted on
The flaw in your argument is that with patent laws only certain companies will be selling a drug, it does not matter where you buy them from. For awhile pfizer was the only company that could legally sell viagra. If there was a problem with it or it didn't work, without the FDA making them show it did, the consumer would have no idea it did. Or with their patent, it may have worked for 1 in 100 people, but since no one could make anything like that until the patent was up, you only had them as a choice. I would much rathar have the FDA tell me, hey we forced this company to show us that this product is safe and it does what it says it does on a regular basis.

Also your car example does not hold water for 1 reason. If a car is not safe, that will become obvious very quickly, a lot of fatalities after crashes, a lot more crashes, etc. Some drugs effects may not surface for a few weeks, months, years, etc. That is why the FDA waits so long to release drugs, because they want to make sure that in the long term this does not end up killing somebody. Also in your above example, car sellers lie to you on a regular basis anyways, so AAA really cant affect that. How do you think the shady car salesman stereotype was developed.

Edit: Had another thought, and want to steer this sorta back on topic. How exactly will getting rid of the FDA lower drug costs? Instead of only being able to sell a drug with 3-5 years left on their patent, they can sell it for the full 10 years? You dont think that companies will still charge a high price. They will have no competition on that drug for 10 years. The consumer can not go to anyone else for that drug, and therefore, the comapny can still keep the consumer cost high. If anything dragging their feet on a patent actually may lower the costs because comapnies can only gouge people for 3-5 years instead of 10.

(edited by Doc_whiskey on 7.9.03 1944)

(edited by Doc_whiskey on 7.9.03 1947)

Mr. Burns: You are of course familiar with our state usury laws?
Homer:U-sur-y?
Mr. Burns: Oh silly me, I must have just used a word that doesn't exist.
Michrome
Head cheese








Since: 2.1.03

Since last post: 3869 days
Last activity: 2935 days
#28 Posted on | Instant Rating: 0.00
As far as prcies on the fda goes, the ultimate explanation of why the FDA makes medicine cost so much is here: http://www-hoover.stanford.edu/publications/digest/981/miller.html

Doc_whiskey
Frankfurter








Since: 6.8.02
From: St. Louis

Since last post: 43 days
Last activity: 43 days
AIM:  
#29 Posted on


Yeah i read that, and let me counter some of their major arguments...
Argument 1: It is bad to put children dosages on labels
Counter: This is necessary. The article said most doctors usually tailor the dose, but it did not say all. SO if 1 out of 100 doctors dont do this than the dozens of prescriptions they may right each month may be inaccurate, and the child at the receiving end may ahve major complications. THis is a safety precaution to help prevent this from happening.

Argument 2: The taxes on drug development are higher now.
Counter: The diseases and drugs that are being tested are much more complicated, and the treatments requier a lot more monitoring to look for a more specific effect. So costs will need to be higher.

Argument #3: Companies have to report side effects quicker
Counter: How can you be against this. The quicker the info is submitted the quicker any problems can be caught and the quicker dangerous drugs can be removed from the market. The whole issue with assuming the complication is due to the drug is necessary. The drug may have had some weird drug-drug interaction (common), that may have not been looked at that may require more tests. Again this is for safety.

Argument: Two clinical trials were done using the old way of reporting and the new way, old way cost less.
Counter: This made me laugh. #1 they dont tell you what disease or drug they are looking at. The old way may not have been as thorough for this, and thus may have required less testing. The old way proably required a lot less tests, and thus saved more money. They never mention if the drugs were both shown to be effective using each testing method, just that one way cost more. One may have cost more, but the other way may have actually shown that the drug was either completely safe, kind of safe, or dangerous.

Argument: The cost doubled from 64 to now, and increased a lot from 1990-1993.
Counter: Do you know how many advancements in science were made in those times. Each year we are discovering more and more things we havent even thought of before. You also got to remember, early 90's=about the time serious thought got put into a lot of gene therapies and more advanced and specific treatments for drugs.

Argument: They can just publish lists or logos for drugs not tested in children for parents
Counter: Most people will not read such long lists, and expect (and they should) drug companies, pharmacists, and doctors to make sure all they have to read is how many pills and how often they should be given to little Johnny each day. It really is not hard to make adjustments in calculations for this, and it really is not a big deal. Plus most people dont even know the difference between efficacy and potency, so reading big lists of drugs that arent dosed the same in kids, and how to fix it may be confusing for some.

Argument: At the end it kinda gets preachy about the evils of governments and beauracracy.
Counter: Wont get into it because that would open a big can of worms.

All in all this article is incredibly biased against the FDA, and I noticed how they did not talk to one person who worked on the FDA to comment on their suggestions or problems and explain why they feel their changes are necessary.


Edit: To avoid hogging the board, if you want to discuss this aspect of this thread further, please PM me.

(edited by Doc_whiskey on 7.9.03 2035)


Mr. Burns: You are of course familiar with our state usury laws?
Homer:U-sur-y?
Mr. Burns: Oh silly me, I must have just used a word that doesn't exist.
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This would definately give Powell a high-profile ticket out of the administration, while potentially keeping his head above water if he ever decides to jump into a run for office..... * * * * * * * Psst! Is Powell Bound for the World Bank?
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