Bad Medicine: The Prescription Drug Industry in the Third World

By Milton Silverman; Mia Lydecker et al. | Go to book overview

Chapter 12
THE ESSENTIAL ROLE OF GOVERNMENT

In practically every country in the world, industrialized or developing, it has apparently been agreed that, at different times, probably for different reasons, and certainly to different degrees, the use of drugs is too important to be entrusted to physicians, pharmacists, or the drug industry. Particularly irritating to physicians, pharmacists, and industry officials has been the discovery that the regulation of drugs in most nations has been taken over by government officials--and, most galling, by government bureaucrats (those who are appointed, not elected, to their posts). The fact that some drug regulatory officials may be physicians or pharmacists, and may be among the most knowledgeable drug experts in a country, has not protected them from constant verbal abuse.


Regulation in the United States

In most industrialized nations, the drug regulatory system was developed over periods of many decades, or even a century or two. In the United States, the important moves have included the following three.

Passage of the Pure Food and Drugs Act in 1906. Designed more to control the promotion and marketing of bad foods than to affect bad drugs, the Pure Food and Drugs Act came after newspaper and magazine

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