Defending the virtues of liberty, free markets, and civilization... plus some commentary on the passing scene.

Freedom's Fidelity

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Ralph Nader and Over-Regulation

via InstaPundit comes this:

If Ralph Nader is run over by a beer truck and killed, if a very large meteorite falls on the offices of Public Citizen and vaporizes the lot of them, I won't feel sorry. Not the least little bit.

Thanks to Ralph Nader and one of his many noble crusades to protect consumers, this woman can no longer get the medication she needs to lead a normal life.

It's a classic example of the hidden costs of regulation and threat of lawsuits. It's very easy, in both the political and legal arena, to dramatize what has gone wrong with certain drug, or a certain corporation, or treatment. A drug or vaccine may make 1,000,000 well but if it might have contributed to one person's illness, well that is nothing but a sign of corporate indifference towards human life in which Ralph Nader must now step in and correct. And while a drug company cannot dramatize the million people who would have been sick if not for a vaccine/treatment, nothing is easier than parading the one who did suffer and suggest to a gullible jury that she was made sick by a 'greed driven' drug company making 'obscene profit', and request that the greed driven corporation stop making their drug and give her a bunch of money.... they have so much of it after all!

There are risks with everything, no doctor is perfect, no drug will work on everyone the same way. If everything with a possible danger, regardless of the potential benefits, were subject to a ban, what would be left? Drug safety is no doubt an important thing, but it seems that relatively minor risks (or even larger one's that a patient is williing to tolerate) are often over-dramatized to the point of mega-million dollar lawsuits, which of course kills off that drug and provides a major disincentives for further research and development. How long can we expect drug companies to invest millions into products that will only make it to market if they reach the impossible standard of 100% safe?


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