In this radio conversation, Lars Larson and I discuss his concerns about the testing and approval process for new drugs and medical procedures in the United States.
We discussed the dangerous shortages of important, commonly prescribed drugs in the U.S. Patients are unable to get prescriptions filled, and hospitals are scrambling to ensure adequate supplies of drugs that are in shortage or to find substitutes for them. At last count, more than 140 were on the FDA's shortage list.
One way to streamline the approval process and reduce excessive regulations of drugs would be a policy change that would enable overseas manufacturers to sell products in the U.S. that already have received marketing approval from certain foreign governments with standards comparable to those of the U.S. FDA, and vice versa. In other words, reciprocity: An approval in one country on the list would be reciprocated automatically by the others.
Reciprocity would ameliorate other problems as well, such as the FDA dragging its feet on the approval of important drugs and vaccines that have been given the green light elsewhere.