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Poll
Should the FDA have authority over homeopathic drugs?
No Opinion 0
No 2
Yes 7
Total Votes: 9
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Posted: 29 April 2007 01:15 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 31 ]
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Nothing changed

If so much has changed, then please explain to me why it is that the FDA is currently funded by the pharmaceutical companies they’re there to regulate? Or why herbal medications and vitamins are considered dietary supplements, completely beyond all regulation, despite the lack of research done to determine their efficacy?

A few years ago, an herb called fen-fen (also called ma huang) killed lots of people looking for more energy or to lose weight.

Novartis is currently fighting the government of India to prevent generic versions of theirs from being made, despite the povery in that region. AIDS drugs are still way out of most Africans reach. And Big Pharma resists price caps and giving Medicare/Medicaid the right to bargain for cheaper drugs for senior citizens and the disabled.

No, nothing’s changed.

Want a solution? The Brazillians already have one. Government made drugs, not driven by profit but by Public Health.

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Posted: 29 April 2007 01:28 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 32 ]
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Wihile I agree that the FDA has many faults, the safety of our medications is a hell of a lot better than it would be without any regulation.

[quote author=“AlbanyDave”]Or why herbal medications and vitamins are considered dietary supplements, completely beyond all regulation, despite the lack of research done to determine their efficacy?

First, are you kidding about vitamins?  The amount of research on all of these has been huge, and by many different research units across the world.  Their efficacy and levels of safety have been determined repeatedly.

Second, while herbal and similar medications aren’t regulated wholesale, as soon as a problem shows up, the FDA bans any further use of the material (even if it can be shown to be unjustified).

While there may be many advantages to a socialist society, we are a long way from that so there’s little to be gained by proposing that the government make all medicines.  It will be a major fight just to make Medicare a bit more efficient.

Occam

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Posted: 29 April 2007 01:35 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 33 ]
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The answer to yuou questions is simple- politics. Clearly the role of the FDA, including its funding, and the ridiculous exclusion of untested “supplements” from any regulatory oversight is due to political considerations, including the influence, through money, of industry on the political process. This is not shocking news to anyone. Even as a dyed-in-the-wool a liberal, I don’t expect the government to start making all of our drugs, and frankly even I don’t think it sounds like a good idea. I would recommend regulation of anything sold with the intention of preventing or curing disease because I think as bad as the current system is, it’s better than just letting any snake oil salesman who wants to pitch any useless or even poisonous product he/she wants just by calling it a supplement instead of a drug. I would love to see the FDA more independant of the industry, but if you’re selling the notion that all therapies should be developed/produced/distrubuted solely by the federal government, well click your heels together three times and good luck with that.  rolleyes

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Posted: 29 April 2007 01:42 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 34 ]
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First, are you kidding about vitamins? The amount of research on all of these has been huge, and by many different research units across the world. Their efficacy and levels of safety have been determined repeatedly.

Nope, I’m not kidding. Most vitamins sold over the counter have quantities in excess of the US RDA, and the health effects of taking mega-doses of vitamins is not clearly known.

  Second, while herbal and similar medications aren’t regulated wholesale, as soon as a problem shows up, the FDA bans any further use of the material (even if it can be shown to be unjustified).

No, actually, they don’t. There’s documentation of ma huang related deaths going back a decade before the FDA pulled it from the shelves when a professional basketball player died from using it.

  ...but if you’re selling the notion that all therapies should be developed/produced/distrubuted solely by the federal government, well click your heels together three times and good luck with that.

I don’t need to click my heels. All I need to do is vote and ask others to think about the same issue and vote according to their conscience after having been presented with the facts.

Lastly, can we do something to keep the tone of these disciussions more civil?

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Posted: 29 April 2007 02:13 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 35 ]
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I politely and gently disagree totally about your statement about vitamins.  Much research data shows that you are in error.  Again, I state this without any negative import and certainly don’t wish to denigrate your level of knowledge.  Please excuse me if my disagreement could be construed as such.

Occam

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Posted: 29 April 2007 02:17 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 36 ]
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Linus Pauling

Linus Pauling aside, I would like to ask for the documentation for your assertion that mega-doses of vitamins are proven to be innocuous.

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Posted: 29 April 2007 02:56 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 37 ]
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AlbanyDave,

Sorry if my attempt at humor struck you as incivility. No offense was intended. I interpreted the tone of your posts as “Well, duh!” suggesting in bold and self-assured language that the pharmaceutical industry is indistinguishable morally from crack dealers and that the answer to the problem is government taking over the development, manufacture, and distribution of all medicines. I see this as hyperbole and as unrealistic and unecessary. I prefer, as I stated, strict government oversight of the industry and generous funding for basic, non-commercially-directed research. That’s where my votes will be going.

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Posted: 29 April 2007 03:07 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 38 ]
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[quote author=“AlbanyDave”]Lastly, can we do something to keep the tone of these disciussions more civil?

LOL  LOL  LOL  LOL  LOL  LOL  LOL  LOL

Made my day!

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Posted: 29 April 2007 05:46 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 39 ]
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Crack vs. dilaudid, oxycontin, or any other highly addictive

Hmmmm.. well, let me ask you to examine two different concepts of research. The first model is purely profit driven. Major pharmaceutical companies fund researchers to create products that will address very specific health concerns, particularly the ones that will yield the greatest financial return. So, we get Viagra and Rogaine, because we’re living longer and the baby boomers are about to retire, and they’re willing to shell out beucoups bucks to avoid baldness and a limp member.

Then, there’s pure research. That’s where the scientists is allowed to do what scientists do best: play. Play around in the lab, and come up with something that will address a health concern of some kind, and who cares if it’s profitable. We get drugs that cure rare forms of dwarfism and address the needs of the small number of Neimann-Pick Type II patients or kids with Tay-Sachs.

Which one produces cures that actually help people in real need? The one that yields Viagra, or the one that cures Tay-Sachs?

Will any corporation in the world fund pure research, knowing full well there’s a very good chance they won’t turn a profit on it? Not on your life, they won’t. But governments can, and will if it serves the voting public.

Will you now consider my argument seriously, and not compare me to Dorothy just because I give a damn about Public Health more than profit?

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