The problem isn’t the FDA or any licensing body, Adam. Their job(s) is to insure the safety of the drug. Most drugs enter the marketplace with about five years of clinical study. That gives them a 10–12 year patent. Five years of study really isn’t that long. To really understand the safety and tolerability of a drug, you need about 10 years of use. Any drug—and I mean ANY drug, Adam—can be dangerous as hell, especially when it’s put in a bottle and then into a patient’s hand. At the end of the day, the cost of medicines has to be passed on to the consumer in one form or another. What’s criminal is the profits most Big Pharmas attach to therapies patients can’t do without. If you can’t do without a medication, there’s a damn good chance you have concommitent issues, some caused by the disease, some caused by the drug. In any case, it’s expensive. It can ruin families (even up here in Canada with universal healthcare). Healthcare costs must be handled the same way insurance works. You have a pool of money and take care of everyone who needs it. Anyone who says “Fuck that, I’ll take care of mine, you take care of yours” is truly kidding themselves. Unless you’re among those fortunate few (and I mean fortunate few) who have coverage through work, you won’t cover your costs. And if you do have coverage through work, look at it CLOSELY. You’re not nearly as covered as you think. If you’re sick for any length of time, there’s a cut off. All insurance has a cut off. Nobody looks closely enough to see this. One last thing, Adam: The reason the U.S. is paying more for healthcare than anywhere else in the world is because of drug dependence. Americans take way, way, way too many drugs. That is the biggest single source cost in the U.S. Reducing drug dependency, Adam, and America can afford a universal healthcare system. Believe me, the free market is NOT the answer. Big Pharmas spend billions on lobbying. BILLIONS. That’s to KEEP Americans dependent on drugs. Nobody’s saying anything about that because the government is scared stiff the Big Pharma.

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I did a poor imitation of Don Draper for 40 years before writing my first novel. I'm currently in the final stages of a children's book. Lucky me.

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