- “The agency’s fear of Type II errors inhibits drug development and harms patients.” [John Cohrssen and Henry Miller, Regulation]
- Where’s the agency headed under Trump? [Alex Tabarrok; more on slow FDA hiring] Further on drug prices [Ira Stoll]
- Which is more dangerous: the battery pack in a vaping set-up, or getting between Sen. Schumer and a camera? [Nick Gillespie; Steven Greenhut and David Bahr on the case against the FDA’s “deeming” rules]
- Speaking of things the new administration should try to undo, don’t forget the bad stuff the agency is up to on pipes and cigars [Rick Newcombe, Reason]
- Cal. Gov. Brown signs “right to try” legislation [L.A. Times] Advocates propose federal version [Liz Szabo, MedCityNews] Related earlier;
- FDA peculiarly confident that radical reductions in salt intake in food supply will result in health benefits [Ronald Bailey, Reason]
- “Judge Says He’s Had Enough Of Weeding Through Baseless Lawsuits, Threatens Sanctions” [Daniel Fisher; M. D. Georgia judge on vaginal mesh cases]
- More on pricey regulated generics [Scott Gottlieb/WSJ, earlier on EpiPen, more on latter from Joel Zinberg/City Journal]
- Feds ban pre-dispute arbitration agreements in nursing home care [McKnights]
- How Ronald Reagan’s FDA responded to the AIDS crisis — and it’s probably not the story you’ve heard [Peter Huber, City Journal; see also from Carl Cannon in 2014]
- FDA regs likely to winnow smaller, distinctive makers from the cigar business, recalling a Somerset Maugham story [James M. Patterson] Debunking the “Helena miracle,” once more: no link between local smoking bans and short-term drops in heart attacks [Jacob Sullum, earlier here and here]
- “Ethicists make the case for bone marrow transplantation markets” [Ilya Somin]
Charles Seife in Scientific American tells the story of how, using the “close-hold embargo” and other techniques, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and other government agencies shape what you read about them when major initiatives and findings are announced. I sum up highlights in my new Cato post. More: Megan McArdle.
- FDA to dental consumers: you can’t handle the tooth [New York Times via Alex Tabarrok]
- “How lawyers scare people out of taking their meds” [Lisa Rickard (U.S. Chamber), Washington Post]
- Lawsuits fail to bring improvements to nursing homes [ABA Journal]
- “Everything,” new Institute for Justice short film about costs of regulating bone marrow donation, has upcoming screenings in D.C. area, Breckinridge, Colo. and elsewhere;
- Aetna pulls out of most ObamaCare exchanges, and the acrimony flies [WSJ editorial] “Did the Medicaid expansion limit labor force participation?” [Tomas Wind via Tyler Cowen]
- Posting will be slower in coming weeks as I conduct my own in-person investigation of the state of America’s medical system. Thanks for bearing with me!
“When was the last time that America’s chair industry hiked the price of chairs 400% and suddenly nobody in the country could afford to sit down?” Funny, isn’t it, how these episodes keep happening in a sector of the economy where a new competitor, before being allowed to enter even a well-understood generic market, faces the prospect of unpredictable and expensive government denials and delays? [Scott Alexander]
More: Scott Gottlieb on how the new, more ardently regulatory FDA keeps generic drugs (and devices) off the market. Don’t blame the patent angle; EpiPen is off-patent [Timothy Holbrook, The Conversation]
- Has Obama administration endorsed anti-GMO campaign with new labeling law? Not really [Thomas Firey, Cato, earlier here, here, etc.]
- United Nations anti-tobacco meeting seeks to exclude persons overly involved with tobacco production, ban list turns out to include many officials of member governments [Huffington Post UK]
- Dumping Michigan tart cherries to comply with USDA marketing order? There must be a better way [Baylen Linnekin]
- “I am the man, the very fat man, who waters the workers’ beer.” [Science Daily, prompting Christopher Snowdon’s recollection of that line of song]
- Feds alone have spent $500 million chasing food-desert mirage, with “negligible” impact on health [Mac McCann, Dallas News, earlier]
- “FDA Assigns Zero Value To Smokers Who Die Because Of Its E-Cigarette Regulations” [Jacob Sullum, more on vaping]
- “Don’t Ground ‘Uber in the Sky'” [Ilya Shapiro and Randal John Meyer on Cato Institute brief in FAA v. FlyteNow]
- Trademark spats bog down the world of craft brewing and those over place names are among the worst [Timothy Geigner/TechDirt on Miami Brewing/M.I.A. Beer Co. conflict]
- After the Freddie Gray trials, redistricting, StingRay, cyberbullying, eminent domain and more in my new Maryland roundup at Free State Notes;
- “Attorney: DOJ’s pursuit of Post Office’s competitors shows hypocrisy of administration” [Jessica Karmasek/Legal NewsLine (fixed link), earlier on FedEx trial here, here, here]
- Trial lawyers seize on New Jersey law to file wave of cases challenging online agreements [The Economist]
- FDA’s war on vaping pleases big tobacco firms, makes little sense otherwise [Jonathan Adler, Jacob Sullum]
“If you’re wondering why our country seems so bizarrely fearful, here’s the answer: We absolutely cannot understand that risk is inherent in everything, even things that are outrageously safe, like eating cookie dough.” [Lenore Skenazy]
Vaping isn’t the only issue on which the Food and Drug Administration has stopped its ears to distress cries from the regulated community. It has now followed through with a stringent rather than lenient version of the menu labeling concept mandated by the ObamaCare law, one that will extend coverage to doubtful areas including some restaurant coupons and advertisements and ensure burdensome compliance issues for variety items such as toppings on pizza or ice cream. [CS News, Elizabeth Harrington/Free Beacon, earlier]
I’ve got a new piece at Ricochet on the Food and Drug Administration’s just-announced measures against vaping (e-cigarettes), which will drastically restrict and maybe even ban a popular option for smokers seeking to quit the cigarette habit. It’s not just an assault on individual choice and commercial freedom — it could wind up killing people. Read it here.
Relatedly, Andrew Stuttaford thinks I am too kind in describing CDC director Thomas Frieden as in denial about the prospective health benefits when smokers switch to vaping. And thank you to Andrew for describing Overlawyered as “must-read”.
P.S. Faced with two options on how to regulate premium cigars, FDA chose the harsher, of course [HalfWheel, Jacob Grier (“The market for cigars is about to become a lot less diverse and a lot more boring.”)]
More: I’ve got a piece up at Cato now on winners and losers from the FDA’s move. Plus, a new Jacob Sullum column: “The FDA’s deadly e-cigarette regulations.” And a Washington Post editorial defends the agency’s action on a for-the-children rationale, yet says not a word about the precipitous plunge in youth smoking rates and only refers in passing to the issue of harm reduction.