In a Forbes article, Matthew Herper lays out his ideas for five ways we could improve the FDA.

Fix 1: Pay Up

How do we expect to police a $216 billion industry on $300 million per year?

FDA Fix 2: Power Up The FDA

Give the FDA powerful sticks and carrots to compel drug companies to test their medicines more thoroughly.

FDA Fix 3: Track Side Effects

In order to make sure that medicines are safe, we need to find new ways to track existing drugs.

FDA Fix 4: Fund Drug Studies

Right now, we depend entirely on companies to test the drugs they sell us. That’s not smart medicine, and it’s bad economics too.

FDA Fix No. 5: Forget Labels

Adding warnings to drugs has a limited effect. Does the FDA need its own ad agency?

As the author points out, this is only an agency that regulates products that make up a quarter of every dollar Americans spend annually–some $1 trillion in total.

More here.

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