NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

U.S. Food and Drug Administration Approval Process Is Too Slow

December 16, 2013

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) should speed up its approval process for the B serogroup meningitis vaccine, says Jared Meyer, a research associate at the Manhattan Institute.

  • An odd strain of meningitis for which there is no FDA-approved vaccine has been spreading on Princeton University's campus.
  • After seven students and one guest on campus became ill, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) ordered that Princeton students could be given a non-FDA-approved vaccine.

The fact that the CDC allowed the vaccine demonstrates that the drug is not dangerous, and it should be approved for use across the country.

  • The FDA's slow approval process has kept cancer patients, diabetics, Alzheimer's patients and others without access to promising treatments.
  • For the terminally ill who lack other options, does it matter if an experimental drug is not 100 percent safe and effective?
  • Doctors and their patients should be determining what drugs will work for each individual.

While the FDA is an impartial source to certify drug safety, the market could perform the same function. Without the FDA, companies would still be driven by their profit motives not to market unsafe drugs to the public.

Source: Jared Meyer, "Hey FDA, the Latest Cure Isn't Just for Princetonians," Manhattan Institute, December 11, 2013.


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