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.