15 Mar 2017

Perspective: When free market ideology and medical safety regulations collide

The US Presidential election always causes a ripple effect around the globe, so it will be no surprise when Trump’s backwash eventually works its way into our GP consulting room.

His nominee for head of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) [Dr Scott Gottlieb] is likely to result in an eventual flow-on effect, reducing the average effectiveness and safety of drugs we prescribe.

Patients completely rely on our judgement that a medication works. We, in turn, rely on Australian regulatory bodies – the TGA and PBS – to have done the hard yards assessing that each medication actually does what it is supposed to do.

However, the TGA, as a small regulatory authority, understandably takes its cues from the FDA, the world’s behemoth of drug approval agencies.

There have been increasing concerns that the FDA is too close to the pharmaceutical industry. It has been estimated that one in every five drugs approved ends up causing serious harm, while only one in ten provides substantial benefit compared to existing, established drugs.

However, rather than widening the perilously narrow gap between the industry and its regulator, Trump’s new nominee for FDA commissioner has a track record of wanting the exact opposite. That is bad news for patients (and taxpayers) in the US, and those ripples will eventually find their way here...

Read full article here: www.medicalobserver.com.au/blog/why-trumps-backwash-is-set-to-enter-gp-consulting-rooms

See also: http://www.nature.com/news/physician-with-drug-industry-ties-is-trump-s-fda-pick-1.21619

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