Medicine's Silent Killer

There are times when there isn’t enough regulation, and then there are times when there’s too much regulation, and it’s hard to get that balance right.

It’s not the hostile regulation that you worry about as much, because hostile regulation tends to take place after some extraordinary event or fraud.

It’s the creeping regulation that ratchets and says, “To this stack of regulations, we’re going to add this stack of regulations…and we’re never going to take any away.”

When you do that in medicine, you can watch what happens by looking at the cost of bringing a medicine to market. For example, in 1985, it cost about $40 million. By the 1990s, the cost was about $400 million.

In 2012, the cost went all the way up to $1.2 billion – and has only increased since then.

What that means is many life-saving medicines are not going to come to market. It also means that orphan drugs are now costing around $250, 000…per person, per year, per treatment.

And we get surprised when medical bills come, or when government deficits grow. But you just have to look at the skyrocketing cost of bringing a medicine to market to see the correlation.

When these medicines don’t come to market, it’s not just the three people that were hurt by the medicine that did come to market. It’s the tens of thousands and hundreds of thousands that didn’t get a drug. Or didn’t get a drug for 12 years instead of six years.

This is really killing people. And it’s killing people probably by one or two orders of magnitude more, than the regulations are saving.