Psycho-Babble Medication | about biological treatments | Framed
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Re: aCk-chung...

Posted by Adam on December 6, 1999, at 15:26:48

In reply to Re: aCk-chung..., posted by Kev on December 6, 1999, at 13:28:12

> Well, then...given that the motives of big drug companies are not altruistic, but bearing in mind that non-altruistic motives are the engine of progress (cf. Adam Smith), why can't the State simply require that the evaluation studies be carried out by an independent third party in order to neutralize the blatant conflict-of-interest inherent in letting the drug co.'s do the initial research on their own meds????
> -Kev

I don't think altruism is ever completely the motivating force behind discovery, nor is it ever
completely absent. For instance, drug companies give a lot of medicine away to people who can't
afford to buy it. Part of this is due to an honest desire to help people. Part of the motivation
is great PR. It's all very grey.

The only independant third party I can think of capable of doing such studies is academia. No
scientist I ever knew would take kindly to being forced into a consumer watchdog position. At
any rate, all clinical trials are carried out by independant entities. And very few companies
have all of the necessary brain power, expertise, and resources in-house to fully investigate
candidate therapies. They rely heavily on academia and give loads of money away to fund the needed
research. There are plenty of checks and balances. The FDA does a pretty good job policing.
One of the biggest reasons it costs so much to get a drug from the bench to the clinic is the
daunting amount of work that must be done to get a drug to clear all the regulatory hurdles.
One investigator I know paraphrased _The Usual Suspects_: "I BELIVE in God, and the only thing
that scares me is the FDA."




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