Free to Choose Medicines Boosts Consumer Choice

The process of developing, obtaining FDA approval and making prescription drugs available to patients is an enormously expensive, time consuming clinical testing process. Patients need a quicker way to get access to new drugs; and drug makers need a streamlined process for developing new drugs. Bartley Madden of the Heartland Institute authored a new report explaining how this goal could be achieved:

This objective is achievable with the Free To Choose Medicine plan, which would empower patients, advised by their doctors, to make informed decisions about whether to use approved drugs or new drugs in late stage clinical testing. Freedom of choice addresses the unique health conditions of individual patients and their personal evaluation of the tradeoffs between the risk of adverse side effects versus the opportunity for health improvements not otherwise available.

Free To Choose Medicine would, in general, greatly increase the pace and effectiveness of pharmaceutical industry innovations, and in particular, shift resources to the most skilled firms in developing breakthrough medicines.

Comments (4)

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  1. Devon Herrick says:

    This could be one solution to the problem of getting drugs to market quickly. The problem is: many risk averse, public health advocates want restrictions that slow the process. One such proposal is to forbid direct-to-consumer advertising until the drug has been on the market for several years in order to perform post-approval review.

  2. Al Farragosa says:

    I have an HSA, and it’s saved me a ton of money in addition to providing greater choices. A personal anecdote: I visited my doctor for an annual physical shortly after starting the HSA program. Knowing I was now covered by an HSA he suggested I have my lab tests done at a different lab than the one they use. Why, I asked. Because, he said, they’ll do just as good a job for less money. So why didn’t my doctor use the less expensive lab?–because insurance has an arrangement with the other lab. ’nuff said.

  3. Ken says:

    Like the idea.

  4. Virginia says:

    This is a great idea. If you have the money, and you want to try the treatment, go ahead.