Learning the Wrong Lesson

There are those who believe, completely and unquestioningly, that progress in medicine cannot occur without omnipresent regulation to suppress fraud. They point to the fraud that occurs anyway under heavily regulated development as the reason why. They believe that the vast overkill, perverse incentives, and needless hoop-jumping of FDA trials are needed to vet every last new therapy. But there will always be fraud, what works and what doesn't work will be established even without formal trials, and the most rapid progress in commercializing modern medicine, such as stem cell therapies, occurs in the least regulated of the wealthy regions of the world. This Economist article is an excellent example of the way in which people learn the wrong lesson from the state of the world, and accept without question what they are told by those politicians, bureaucrats, and businesspeople who have a vested short-term interest in the continuation of the US-styled system of medical regulation, no matter how harmful it is to progress.

Link: http://www.economist.com/sciencetechnology/displayStory.cfm?story_id=15268869

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