Lyme Disease and FDA

Today’s opinion piece from John Mauldin includes a bunch of pie in the sky wishes on how the government could help the economy.  One of those wishes is that federal agencies would be re-examined with an eye toward current and future technology:

Recognize that many federal agencies are still mired in the mid-20th century if not the 19th. It’s time to design a regulatory system that fosters jobs and growth while protecting citizens.

Let’s start with the easy target: the Food and Drug Administration. The United States is the wellspring of biotechnological research, yet more and more of our original research is being taken overseas for further development, producing jobs outside the US

A bipartisan commission can design a new agency with a new regulatory regime and bring it to the floor of Congress for a vote. Instead of a system that makes drug-creation prohibitively expensive, favors Big Pharma and exports jobs, let’s harness the power of US entrepreneurs.

Streamline the process so healthcare can keep up with research, thereby lowering healthcare costs and providing healthier outcomes for everyone. Then start with the next regulatory agency until all have been updated.

That’s a lovely idea but its undoing is right in there: “favors Big Pharma.”

We are having a banner year for ticks.  Although it was bitterly cold, the deep snow must have sheltered them from the cold, because there are more ticks this year than ever before.  I have picked 2 off my arm in the last week (thankfully crawling, not dug in).  This leads to Lyme disease.  There used to be a vaccine for it, but it wasn’t perfect, and it was pulled from the market, “citing low demand.

Lyme disease is so severe, and so poorly treated, that the CDC recommends “Share your feelings,” as a way to deal with its after effects.  It seems like this is a great candidate for a new or improved vaccine.  Around 40,000 people a year get Lyme, which is really not a lot, but I think a lot more people would want to get the vaccine if it were available, safe, and effective, or at least if the data around safety and efficacy were publicly available.

It seems ridiculous that there is a vaccine out there, and instead of getting the data to make a fully informed choice, we get “share your feelings,” once you are infected.  I blame the FDA and anti-vaxxers.



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Filed under Government, Health

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