City Journal Spring 2014

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Spring 2014
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Paul Howard
An FDA That Works for Children « Back to Story

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There may be a bit of a red herring in this article. Calls have been made to conduct more pharma tests on women, because women are underrepresented as test subjects, and because of perceived sexism in treatment (Women are less likely to suffer or self diagnose heart attacks over their lives than men; Women are patronized and misunderstood in breast cancer treatment,etc.). The practice of "elder law" was invented on the presumption that the elderly suffer fundamentally different treatment and viewpoints than the rest of us with regard to "life management" -- In medicine that may be true insofar as the old get persistent and multiple drug prescriptions with variable and unclear side effects. They tend to misuse drugs and overrate their health and self reliance. But who wants to test most drugs on the end of lifers, or take an "old geezer" pill?

In reality, the vast majority of drug tests are a crapshoot. Statistically insignificant results haunt the industry: There are always unwanted side effects and a rational calculus (and indifference)behind most prescriptions. Testing on one cohort after another proves nothing. And this does not preclude the miraculous resurrection of one drug to treat an entirely different malady. Didn't the author fail to mention that thalidomide and sulfa drugs are still in use?

Favored drug trials on children will probably bear out nothing special, except a tendency to invent afflictions particular to children -- like ADD.
Just what's needed now: more drugs - and for children, a primary target of unsubstantiated results earning the big bucks for Big Pharma. Does anyone besides me find it absolutely amazing how the taxpayer is on the hook for more American humans, younger annually, who now rely on the state because of debilitating "legal" drug use? Don't believe me? Read a book like this: http://www.amazon.com/Anatomy-Epidemic-Bullets-Psychiatric-Astonishing/dp/0307452425/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1336441442&sr=1-1
I would bet good money more harm is done to any human taking prescribed drugs than if the drugs were not offered. Is it any wonder the U.S. is 37th in the world in patient care? We have made it policy to support Big Pharma - not health of our citizens.