How glorious it is to be regulated - people die

Well, yes, of course everything needs to be regulated, areweright? The idea that the market unadorned could just be left to its own devices is just so absurd that no one could possibly hold it. Except people like us who just will insist on pointing out that the result of regulation is that people die.

For example, we’d all rather like there to be lots of new drugs to treat the cancers that eat away at all too many of us. We’ve a wondrous pan-continental regulation system to make sure they’re safe, the result of which is that we get very few new anti-cancer drugs:

Cancer patients are missing out on innovative new drugs, with red tape covering clinical trials and licensing among the factors to blame, according to a report by the UK’s Institute of Cancer Research.

Children’s cancers have received little in the way of new treatments, a finding the authors put down to drug companies failing to invest in these rare conditions and using regulatory loopholes to avoid conducting the necessary clinical trials.

Well, one person’s loophole is another’s escape from red tape and expense:

She added that EU regulations say that if a disease does not occur in children, drug companies can opt out of testing the drug on them, even though it might help with other cancers. That, she said, needed to change.

So, if all drugs need to be tested upon children then there will be even more expense, even more red tape, even fewer new drugs:

The team also found new drugs are taking longer to make it through the clinical trial stage of development. Between 2009 and 2016, it took more than nine years for a drug to progress from the first stage of clinical trials to being authorised for a particular use by the EMA, compared with 7.8 years between 2000 and 2008.

“I don’t think this is about being over-cautious because of safety; I think this is regulatory red tape,” said Workman.

Isn’t that regulation a wonderful thing?

There is a theory that every civilisation is eventually strangled by the entrails of its own bureaucracy. We appear to be well along the road to testing that one out again. Perhaps we might want to change path before it truly mestastasizes?