Deadly Delays

COVID-19 deaths are up. Politicians tell us to wear masks and get vaccinated.

Amid the fear, I’m surprised that we haven’t heard more about two drugs that could make COVID-19 much less of a threat.

In blind tests, Pfizer’s Paxlovid was found to reduce the risk of hospitalization and death by 89%! It was so effective that Pfizer was advised to stop the tests.

“They halted the clinical trials!” exclaims Michael Cannon, director of health policy at the Cato Institute in my new video.

“They decided it would be unethical (not to give the drug to people in the control group.) But if it’s unethical to deny them the drug, it’s unethical to deny the American public that drug!”

Excellent point. Yet that’s what the Food and Drug Administration is doing. They force us to wait until they’re sure all drugs “meet the agency’s rigorous standards.”

How long might they delay?

“If the FDA is following its current practice,” says Cannon, “it’ll be a matter of months.”

Months is an improvement over the 10 years it usually takes the FDA. During the pandemic, the FDA loosened regulations to get some medicines to people faster.

“(But) we’re still losing thousands of lives unnecessarily,” complains Cannon.

At the beginning of the AIDS crisis, the FDA delayed approval of many AIDS drugs. Some Americans formed “buyers clubs” to purchase AIDS drugs from Mexico. That’s what the movie “Dallas Buyers Club” was about.

But buying unapproved drugs from other countries is illegal.

Now the United Kingdom has approved molnupiravir, Merck’s coronavirus antiviral pill. In tests, it cut hospitalization by 30%.

But we can’t try it in America. “More input is needed,” says the FDA.

More input is always helpful, but our FDA is just slow.

“The United Kingdom approved molnupiravir back at the beginning of November,” Cannon points out. “The FDA didn’t even meet to decide whether to approve it until the end of November. In the meantime, thousands of Americans died.”

While people die, President Joe Biden praises the FDA for their “hard work.”

“We shouldn’t be praising them for doing a job that no one should be doing, which is violating your rights,” says Cannon. “If we just gave patients the freedom to purchase drugs other countries had approved, we would go a long way toward restoring your right to make your own health decisions.”

FDA regulators don’t want to kill people, but they do have an incentive to work slowly. If they approve a drug that hurts someone, they’ll get horrible publicity. They may get fired.

But when people die from delayed approval, no bureaucrat gets in trouble. We don’t know which people might have been saved.

“That’s why the FDA always tries to make sure that it never lets an unsafe drug on the market,” says Cannon. “Even if the cost is years of delay and many, many lives lost.”

His solution: Have no FDA.

I push back. “Some people would try drugs that would kill them.”

“Yes, some people would have adverse drug events,” he replies. “But the number of lives that we would save would absolutely swamp the number of lives that we lose to unsafe drugs.”

The FDA was created 100 years ago because some people were harmed by quack medicines. But of course, some still are.

“The entire premise of an agency like the FDA is that you’re not smart enough to make these decisions for yourself,” says Cannon.

But maybe we’re not smart enough, I tell him. “I’m not smart enough to judge whether a pill really works or I’m being sold snake oil.”

“It’s not true that you’re not smart enough to make this decision yourself, John,” he says. “You can consult experts, your physician, medical journals, Consumer Reports. You can consult government regulatory agencies in other countries. Every day the FDA delays costs lives.”

He’s right.

Once a regulatory agency is created, we tend to assume that only government can do the job. But that’s not true.

“The FDA needs to get out of the way,” concludes Cannon. “Let patients make decisions for themselves.”

16 thoughts on “Deadly Delays

  1. The vaccines aren’t FDA approved, either! Geez! Why can’t they use these new drugs as EUA like the vaccines and Remdesivir?

  2. The only rational explanation for deliberately holding these drugs is because Biden wants to enforce the vaccinations for Covid

  3. Thank you Mr. Stossel
    The information you provide to the American people gives us an opportunity to see the truth not the fabricated misinformation feed to us on a daily basis.

    Best Regards
    Richard Weaver

  4. John,
    Of the FDA approved the pills, then people stop taking the vaccines…🤷‍♂️
    That’s BILLIONS of $$$ lost by Big Pharma

  5. Commen sense, meet in the middle, provide to the most vulnerable that have no reason to have an increased risk of or from side effects as long as they sign an informed consent. This will not be a controlled group study, but still will add massive amounts data to the research and save lives.

    1. Pfizer is a win, either way, they will make money on the name-brand prescription, while continuing to sell the vaccine. Not to mention the United States is purchasing to donate half a billion Pfizer vaccines to 92 low- and lower-middle-income countries and the African Union. I will guess that there is a high percentage of Pfizer stockholders on the hill that will continue to pass bills to fund vaccine donations, so the money ball just keeps getting bigger. Sadly oo many of our leaders are pushing the covid agenda to pad their own pockets. So go out and buy some Pfizer stock because this ball is going to be rolling for a while to come.

  6. Majority of FDA panel are former Pfizer folks. Might there be a bit of bias in their approvals or lack there of?

  7. Read Robert J Kennedy, Jr’s book The Real Anthony Fauci. It’s hard to get because it is being blocked y media. He was interviewed by Tucker on a hour-long show and Kennedy was on Newsmax tonight.

  8. Good article, but the entire premise of abolishing the FDA is weakened if you then say, “You can consult government regulatory agencies in other countries.”

  9. If France, Germany, or Japan says it’s safe, that’s good enough for me. Requiring more drug trials is INSANITY!!!

  10. “That’s why the FDA always tries to make sure that it never lets an unsafe drug on the market,” says Cannon. “Even if the cost is years of delay and many, many lives lost.”

    I guess he doesn’t watch tv, they constantly run ads about adverse reactions. Your momma gave you the best advice, eat your fruits and veggies and go play outside.

  11. Sadly the FDA is a corrupt entity that favors big pharma and stymies small biopharma with drugs that would have already ended the pandemic.

  12. Read about Inovio’s dna vaccine INO-4800 4802 for covid-19 protection! Fda blocked cellectra for a whole year from testing. Best delayed, is denied. China, mexico testing .

  13. Right now if I had to pick one treatment to rely on, it would be the one in this short online article from the Much Maligned Mainstream Media (they got it right once) with a lot of information about the failure of the health care establishment to provide good results; I believe the same principles apply to other treatment options, not just the one the article covers – although, even just that one alone is very important and could save a LOT of lives. Even the infamous governors with their indefensible policy of spreading the infection in nursing homes could not have done all that damage if good care had been available for the sick people. And, the shameful difference in survival between races would not be as large or important if we had good treatment for any race. The attitude of our medical bureaucrats should not be bleep you, Jack, I’m all right. I often comment online that we can learn a lot about health care from this pandemic if we have enough courage to look at the data, but we will not enjoy what we find. If you are interested in more information, there is quite a bit online from UHMS (Undersea & Hyperbaric Medical Society).

  14. I still think hyperbaric oxygen is an outstanding example of failure to capitalize on innovation, costing hundreds of thousands of lives and $billions in excessive time spent in expensive hospitals. If someone of Mr. Stossel’s stature would look into this situation, there is still a chance to make some progress. The pandemic keeps hanging on, we still have people who need this to keep them alive and to recover quickly.

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