Congratulations on your Editor’s Corner article in the Fall 1997 issue of the Medical Sentinel. I am rapidly reaching the point of being afraid to criticize my government for fear that I will end up in jail.
HMOs Are NOT "Free Market"
M. Stanton Evans, the prominent journalist, has vindicated AAPS and many of us who have (1) exposed managed care and HMOs for what they are: collectivist engines harnessed for the rationing of medical care; and (2) denied the contention that HMOs are “free market.” Writing in Human Events (12/6/96), he states:
Most Americans believe that the Food and Drug Administration protects them from harm and improves their well-being. Nothing could be farther from the truth. As carefully documented in this shocking book, the FDA has caused hundreds of thousands of premature deaths and vastly larger numbers of Americans to suffer unnecessarily.
I have recently written three reports on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's regulation of medical devices that summarize and provide documentation for the views I hold regarding the U.S. regulatory system.(1-3) The following report will present eight conclusions I have reached, in the form of comparisons of the U.S. regulatory system with the corresponding systems in Europe, Canada, and Japan.
Here they are:
For many Americans, their fight against cancer is nothing compared to their battles with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Just ask the many patients of Dr. Stanislaw Burzynski. They'll tell you about their 14-year war with the FDA and that they won!
Yet, They Still Implore Congress to Reign in the FDA
Physician, Heal Thyself!
The accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive and judiciary,
in the same hands whether of one, a few or many,
and whether hereditary, self-appointed or elective,
may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny.
James Madison, 1787
Federalist Papers #47
Executive Agencies with the Power of Legislation
In regard to the deleterious changes that have taken place in the field of medicine, the regulatory agencies that have had the most damaging effect on the Constitution are the FDA and HCFA. Indeed, the history of the government's involvement in medical care provides a textbook example of the natural history of a command (a managed or collective) economy. In a command economy, power is centralized, which means it is an authoritarian system.
Despite the end of the Cold War, the United States still faces a range of serious national security issues. One at the forefront is the issue of the proliferation of biological weapons, and the accelerated development of the capabilities to design and produce biological weapons on the part of many Third World nations.(1) The Committee on Armed Services of the U.S.
The problem of FDA "drug lag" is widely recognized. New drugs are approved more quickly in Europe than the almost nine years it takes to get approval in the United States. Yet because drug recalls are just as rare in Europe as in the United States, Europeans seem none the worse for the shorter approval time; indeed, to the extent that Europeans can use new, health-enhancing drugs sooner, they are better off than their American cousins.