Wednesday, July 31, 2013


Rather than offer comments at the outset, let me just offer this text for your consideration.

Here it is.  In particular:

...premature babies are suffering because they can't get access to the same nutrients that some celebrities are using to pretty-up before a photo shoot," says Robbins, who adds that people are also using the drugs for a hangover cure. 

Why are celebrities getting the drugs, and not the infants in critical condition? Robbins explains there is no centralized database to direct the nutrients to the people who need them the most. "(Hospital staff) are heartbroken. 

They can't believe this is going on, that they can't get access to these very basic nutrients," Robbins says. "Really everybody is just astounded that the government has let this go so far." And while the shortages are easy to identify, it is less easy to pinpoint the cause and who should take responsibility. 

Robbins explains it's a non-stop blame game between the FDA, Congress and the limited number of drug manufacturers. "Manufacturers blame the FDA, the FDA blames manufacturers, a congressional committee blames the FDA, but meanwhile none of these three entities have been able to solve this problem that's causing people to starve," says Robbins, whose article states that clinicians have reported at least 15 deaths attributable to drug shortages since 2010. 

Please discuss.  My own view is to compare this situation, where access to the needed material is controlled by the government, with the food situation more generally, where grocery stores are owned and operated privately.  If the government were in charge of food distribution, only the wealthy would get food.  And of course this was exactly the experience of the former Soviet bloc.

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Do you have suggestions on where we could find more examples of this phenomenon?