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Comment No, it is dodging the FDA (Score 1) 519

The FDA makes moving from research to treatments enormously expensive and delays the use of those drugs for as much as 10 years.

In the old days, before medical ethicists convinced the FDA that people who were dying couldn't make informed opinions, drugs were tested on people who had the most to gain and who were therefore willing to bear more of the risk.

Now, there are elaborate double-blind studies on volunteers for a safety trial, followed by efficacy trials.

Many, many patients die while waiting for this process to complete. A recent SC case established that patients do not have the right to use drugs that the FDA has not approved. Might endanger their health you see.

But, this elaborate regulatory process protects US pharmsters from competition, so the FDA is serving its purpose.

Comment So this is a very Libertarian society? (Score 1) 187

Your argument plus the sad state of our society, where the rich are massively screwing the poor and the rest of us too, lead on to believe the Libertarian Revolution already happened.

It hasn't. Can't be the reason for the world-wide depression and the escalating rich-crush-poor scenes we are entering.

So maybe it is our wonderful blend of business and government? The incestuous ties between government, regulatory body and regulatee? The ever growing set of restrictions that limit competition, raise campaign contributions, give retiring gov exects something to do when they join their former brother-in-facade. The escalating bureaucracies in all of them to keep track of each other, the evolving market and new opportunities for aggrandizement? Too bad about costs, but the poor must sacrifice when the rulers command.

Comment regs vs regulatees == hackers vs us (Score 1) 187

Regulators write rules. Regulatees work very hard at finding routes to their goals through those rules. Regulators don't much like the work of enforcement. Which is why nobody in any large investment / trading organization will go to jail, why Bernie Maddoff only went to jail after 20 years of living the high life.

We programmers have amazing tools. They allow us to ensure consistency between components of our programs, to identify bugs before the program executes, to restart from a known state and continue step by step, to test and retest programs at every stage of development to ensure that they meet requirements. We have standard processes that ensure large numbers of people work toward a goal and deliver systems that meet the requirements.

Hackers still manage to find ways into our systems. Some of them are smarter than anyone on any team, so we are at a permanent disadvantage.

Law and regulations have none of those tools. Laws cannot be made internally-consistent except by the tool of human minds. We programmers know how well that works. Laws cannot be made consistent with other laws except ditto. We programmers ditto.

Law has no way of testing laws and regulations before they are implemented. We know that even simple systems cannot be delivered without extensive testing.

They turn out 10,000 page laws with no testing.

Tell me how that can work.

This from the first principles all of you learned in school. We haven't even started dealing with esoteric topics like the sociology of ruling classes, the social dynamics of regulatees and regulators, the strong psychological influence of power and money upon decisions made by humans. Or how easily societies are corrupted, how easily normal individuals become torturers under strong leadership, and the political consequences thereof. The big increases in death rates that lousy governments produce. The plight of the poor who are most mercilessly raped by the system.

And so many say it is all about controlling the corporations. For the children, no doubt.

Comment Re:Money buys power. (Score 1) 187

You are quite wrong about that. Glass-Steagall was a fine example of a failed regulation : when it became inconvenient, the industry changed it.

Actually, given the incubation period of JCvariant / 'mad cow disease', we can't be sure we aren't having a massive outbreak. I believe there is still no test for people. The FDA only found 2 cases, but their methods were intended not to find them. Look at the case in the Seattle area, guy who, by happenstance, killed a cow outside of the standard area and that triggered the test, not the fact that she was obviously older and had serious problems of coordination. He said the regs were obviously intended to avoid finding the disease.

MDs are one part of several cartels. Foreign-trained MDs basically have to go through the entire training program again, so rarely are able to. I know a good number of these people, very fine physicians in their own countries who are now doing echocardiograms, ... Thus the price of medical care is kept high. The various associations of MDs have always controlled the number and size of medical schools. They control the medical boards, state regulatory boards, ... They deal very severely with people who try to innovate == compete with more advanced treatment, have driven the best physician I ever had out of the business.

Yes, govs, corporations and individuals in the past were less concerned with the value of human lives than now. We fixed that with stricter legal liability, basically took the power from the gov that protected them. We did regulations too. Which ones were the cause of the changed behavior?

The Bush-Obama administration is an existential proof that this power is corrupted absolutely. The various bailouts show the same for most govs in Europe, also. We can imagine a time in the past when that wasn't true, paradise is always in the past, but detailed history says this happens a lot.

Name a regulatory agency whose high level administrators don't retire to industry. Name a regulated industry that doesn't spend $Ms on lobbying. Name a legislator who doesn't get campaign contributions from regulated industries. Sure regulations work. Of course regulators and gov offiials and elected officals are not corrupted by money. Which is why Big Pharma doesn't have to worry about European drugs competing with their American drugs, and on and on. None of which examples you have dealt with.

You are quite right about my claim via Google. I am very sorry, sloppy on my part.

There have, however, been a lot of recent lawsuits against the FDA seeking to avoid various levels of testing so that near-death patients could get the drugs. The FDA has won, you have no right to take risks with your health, even when near death. Compassionate of them and a fine example of a successful regulation, minor side-effects. An example repeated with every cancer patient, many heart failure patients ... for all of the drugs in the 10-year-long pipeline. And agin for the off-label uses of drugs which the FDA does its best to restrict. All of the deaths from cigarettes must be charged to the FDA, btw, because for 60+ of the 65 years during which there was good evidence of smoking causing cancer, the FDA prevented effective means of administering nicotine, e.g. smokeless cigarettes. It was a drug, you see, addictive.

Give it up. This model of government has definitively failed.

Comment What world do you all live in? (Score 1) 187

Good luck with getting that law passed. Haven't seen many like it lately getting passed, R or D in power. Same owners, I think.

"Stiff fines" costing the company more than the xxx is the standard method for enforcing all of the laws, works OK for you and me, but not for the guys with real $. They make campaign donations, socialize with the various attorney-generals and judges and regulators. Or their attorneys and PR firms do. In any case, the company pays the fine and usually has the BOD in his pocket (more great regulations), so it doesn't affect his bonuses in any way at all.

Regulations end up protecting them, hence all the lawsuits by 'progressives' to force the regulatory agencies to do their jobs.

For 65 years all of the large and high-level institutions around the world have been run by the best and brightest graduates of the finest institutions for education and advanced training in the entire world. Most of the smaller/lower-profile institutions and businesses have been so for at least the last 20 years, since the WWII generation retired.

The result of their fine systems design skills is that the entire world is about to fall into a depression, that the rich own the system, and are riding all of us over the brink. The ruling elite will spend every last cent of public money to try to preserve their institutions, and the politicians will go along with it because 'money buys power'. Lots of governments will have new constitutions in the next 10 years. Lots of people will die, already have been because of Fukoshima and the higher death rate that accompanies even minor recession. Horrendous for the people who are closer to the proverty line, have food prices starved a lot of people in the last year.

And you guys are still fighting the last fight (which the rich of the day orchestrated), rather than understanding that the problem is 'oligarch / ruling class against the rest of us'.

Comment Re:Stiff fines my ass... (Score 1) 187

Even if it could work for any period of time, how will you get it passed? The lobbyists will outspend you 1000s to 1. The corporate media will shape their message. Campaign contributions will make sure lobbyists 'have access' to present their arguments.

Money buys power. You can't outspend the rich guys, so this is fantasy.

Comment Re:Money buys power. (Score 1) 187

How does Glass-Steagall argue against 'money buys power'?. I said that regulations never work. Glass-Steagall may have 'worked' once, at unknown cost to the economy in both expenses and opportunity costs, but it is certainly no longer a problem for the industry. When the banks saw the opportunity for new kinds of trades and making $ by trading on Wall Street, regulations were adjusted to suit their new opportunities.

No, I don't think the FDA makes safer food. In fact, food would be safer if we could sue the companies that feed us mad cow brains (FDA stopped companies from testing every cow, FDA regulations were carefully crafted NOT to find cases), Listeria regs were careful not to be really clean, e.g., and on and on and on. The regulatees get the regulations they want.

If you don't like 'money buys power', please explain how you are going to buy more power than the large corporations and very rich oligarchs. Otherwise, eat the contaminated food, do without the drugs, hope that our corporations are a hell of a lot more responsible than, for example Japanese power companies and their incestuous regulators. Oh, yes. US nuclear power companies have strict limits on their liability. They needed those regulations.

There are indeed all of the regulations you mention. Indeed, many things work. But every example you provide for private industry is a cartel that carefully crafts the regulations to remove competition and maximize their profits. Also, the cost in time and effort to change, for example, designs to improve road safety, are long delayed by the regulatory agencies. Listeria, for example, wasn't regulated until 2008, although it was a known, and increasing, food safety issue since bacteriology came into being. Green movements are continuously suing the EPA. Google for 'law suit FDA food' produces 11.8M links.

Regulations can't accomplish many important goals. For example, the difference in mortality due to between best and worst hospitals is 2X. Between the best surgeons and average surgeon, 10X for morbidity and mortality -- think what the lower rung of surgeons do to people. All are equally regulated.

If you adjust your definition of 'works' to mean 'accomplishes its goal at unknown, but very high, cost and with significant side-effects and perverse consequences', sure. I can make anything work with that definition, and get rich doing so.

There are likewise 100s of studies showing that gov costs 4X to provide services compared to private industry and 100s of industries that work with minimal regulations to speak of. A favorite example is building steam boilers. Those are low-cost industries, as compared to the ones you mention.

Money buys power. Therefore, all power is eventually corrupted. Therefore regulations can't possibly work.

Comment Re:Money buys power. (Score 1) 187

And these statements relate to 'money buys power', and the consequences thereof, how?

The US's drug industry develops more than half of the drugs in the world. The first thing they tell you in a drug development course is that no drug can be considered unless it has a $2B/year market because it takes $500M - $1B to get a drug to market, averaged over all of the efforts.

Thus, a very low rate of new drug development despite the rapid decrease in the costs (10 cents / drug, 10 years ago when last I looked at this) and increase in speed of screening drugs against targets. Thus, 'orphan drugs' for diseases that do not have that large a market. Thus the problem that bacteria are evolving faster than new broad-spectrum antibiotics can be developed. Thus the extremely high prices for drugs. Thus the 1000 drugs that European MDs can use, but not US MDs.

Currently, if a mere peon can show that he has been damaged by a security breach, that mere peon can sue, tho there is a high hurdle in connecting damages to the breach. After these regulations, that mere peon will not be able to sue unless he can show both the connection to his damages and that the company did not follow the rules, a much bigger problem. The lobbyists will ensure this, attempt to limit class actions, ...

This is how most of the regulatory bodies work : company follows agency rules, is immune to lawsuits.

It is universal that regulators become incestuous with regulatees, that regulations limit competition, work for the regulatees. Money buys power.

I note that nobody has accepted the challenge of providing an example of a set of regulations that work.

Comment Re:Money buys power. (Score 2) 187

Most legislation begins as a method of soliciting campaign donations.

In any case, how does this disprove "money buys power" and the consequences thereof?

The political problem around the world is now 'oligarchs' vs the rest of us, but most people are stuck in the 'left vs right' or 'corporations vs people' mindset.

Comment Money buys power. (Score 2, Insightful) 187

Who do you think is asking for the rules? The same stupid corporations who can't ever provide decent security, of course.

Before the rules are settled, companies will be immune to lawsuits from mere plebians who are injured by their screwups.

Money buys power, so you can be sure this will be included in any rules.

Additionally, the world is far too complex for any set of rules to cover all the cases. The greater the complexity of the rules, normally proportional to the age and size of the bureaucracy producing them, the higher the rate of perverse consequences. For example, the FDA is no responsible for most of the deaths around the world, all due to "'that drug doesn't exist yet" or "you can't afford the drug".

Thus, regulations NEVER work, always have unexpected and/or perverse consequences.

Name a set of regulations that work. Provide an economic evaluation of their consequences vs 'market solutions'.

The market, which has a bad rep in the progressive mind relative to gov-imposed solutions, should be appreciated among Slashdot's technical audience, as it represents a scalable parallel search algorithm for solutions that bother customers.

Fortunately, we can depend on basic system dynamics to assure us there will be an end to all of this : Power has a strong, inherent positive feedback --> the more power you have, the easier it is to get more. Un-restrained positive feedback systems always destroy the system.

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