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Archive for the ‘Food and Drug Administration’ Category

There are all sorts of reasons to dislike the Food & Drug Administration.

Based on the number of lives lost, the bureaucracy’s foot-dragging on drug approval would be at the top of the list.

Though the FDA’s inefficiencies also resulted in many needless deaths during the pandemic.

And let’s not overlook the other areas where the FDA has a pernicious impact.

But I’m a big believer in redemption. So I’m very hopeful that the bureaucrats will soon do something smart and allow women to purchase birth control pills without first getting a prescription.

One of the reasons I’m hopeful is that some of our friends on the left have sensible views on this issue.

The Washington Post, for instance, recently editorialized in favor of at least partial deregulation.

Paris-based HRA Pharma announced last week that it has applied to the FDA for approval to switch Opill…to over-the-counter use. If approved, it would be the first time Americans would have access to oral contraceptives without the need to obtain a prescription from a health professional. Another pill manufacturer, Cadence Health, has been discussing with the FDA switching its progesterone-estrogen combination to over-the-counter sales in hopes of also submitting an application. …The requirement for a prescription can create barriers for women who don’t have easy access to a health-care provider because of cost, lack of transportation or child care, and privacy and confidentiality concerns. Making the pill available without a prescription could be particularly helpful to women in rural, poor and marginalized communities. Oral contraceptives…are available over the counter in more than 100 countries, and clinical trials have shown them to be safe and reliable. …Major medical organizations, including the American Medical Association and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, have voiced their support for making birth control pills available without prescription. …it is important that the FDA make this matter a priority.

Needless to say, libertarian-minded people are on the right side as well.

Brad Polumbo of the Foundation for Economic Education wrote in favor of reducing government intervention.

…whatever one believes about abortion, the timing of a new debate on birth control policy within the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) couldn’t be more important. The FDA just received a request from a contraceptive company seeking authorization to sell its birth control pills over-the-counter—without a prescription, as is required nationwide under current laws. …the downsides of government mandates requiring a prescription are significant. For one thing, it makes birth control harder to access for people without health insurance or the time/resources to obtain professional medical care. It also adds significantly to the cost of birth control by introducing middlemen and additional steps. …Studies have shown that, in absence of a required doctor consultation, women are able to self-screen and determine if they meet any of the conditions where one shouldn’t take hormonal birth control. …Dozens of other countries don’t require a prescription for birth control, including Mexico, Portugal, India, Greece, and Brazil. …it’s a matter of who gets to decide. Can women weigh the risks and benefits of a medication and decide for themselves? Or should that decision be made for them by supposedly benevolent bureaucrats and the nanny state?

Brad answers his own question, stating that “the answer is clear” and that the FDA should “get out of the way.”

Amen. Indeed, “get out of the way” should be our attitude about almost every action by politicians and bureaucrats.

I’ll close by making the should-be-obvious point that a belief in deregulated birth control is not the same as a belief in subsidized birth control. Especially when such policies are a recipe for higher costs and corrupt cronyism.

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