Drug Goes From $13.50 a Tablet to $750, Overnight


My body is hardly in my control, or least my conscious control. Keep in mind, in the end of the day, libertarians works in the principle of perfect knowledge, because then everyone make make perfect rationale decisions. Except that we don’t have perfect knowledge, and rationale decisions are skewed to the short term or whatever our peers thinks, and all that is double true when we are in danger or sick.


As I explained, liberty regarding your own body is a pretty fundamental basis of our entire system of rights, shows up in every modern legal framework, and is specifically protected in the constitution.

It’s simply not an ABSOLUTE right… but none of our rights are absolute.

And so forcing them to die when their doctor believes that an uncertified drug is an option, is better… because of reasons?

I think on some level maybe I’m just entirely at odds with some of you, in that I do not believe that the government forcing decisions upon a person, which affect only that person, is beneficial to society. Even if those decisions are the ones that I myself would make, forcing others to do something just because I may think so is oppression. Letting people control their own lives is better, if it doesn’t harm others.

Some of you guys really think that humans are all little children who need to have their lives dictated to them, and that it’s better to let them have no choice, for fear that they may make the wrong one. But if we were to go down that road, all kinds of terrible things could be dictated to people with the same notion… Because once you remove the decision from the person it most directly effects, then figuring out whose decision is the “right” one becomes problematic. Many women are psychologically damaged after abortions… not to mention the fact that some think they are morally wrong. Maybe we shouldn’t let them have that choice, for fear they make the “wrong” choice?

But no, we’ve established that is not how it works. You have a right to control your own body, and that right cannot be infringed unless the benefit to society outweighs that infringement. An abortion is legal because, presuming the fetus is not a human being deserving of rights, the law prohibiting it does not pass the notion of substantive due process.

And in this case, where adults are choosing a course of action for themselves, with the aid of a trained physician, suggesting that they may make the “wrong” decisions (which you cannot actually know) and thus should not be able to make any choice at all, is without merit in my opinion.

This is not a valid counterargument, because the notion of liberty does not in any way depend upon some notion of perfect knowledge. You are incorrect in that assertion.

Not only does liberty not require perfect knowledge, but the argument itself can easily be flipped around and shown to be false from multiple facets. Saying that you cannot be trusted to make choices about your life, due to some lack of knowledge, implies that the government organization which makes those choices somehow has perfect knowledge itself, or at least better knowledge than an individual, and this is not even remotely plausible in the general sense.

Again, making a choice which you or others may believe to be wrong but which harms no one else, is not legitimate rationale for removing the freedom to make that choice. That’s tyranny.


I dunno where on Earth you’d get that impression, d00d.



Do you just copy paste these ‘points’ from 40 year old libertarian pamphlets?

Almost everything you have posted is empirically incorrect and you’ve dragged the thread away from any semblance of connection to the topic into your usual long rambling monologues that change the goalposts, answer the points you wish others had made, and state truism after truism denouncing anything that runs counter to it as false simply because it is.

Yes, groups of individuals organised around collecting information in a specific area have more knowledge than a general person. Of course they do.

If it isn’t even remotely plausible in the general sense, why did we evolve education beyond the Master-Apprentice system? Why did society form around group decision making? Why did professional armies prove so successful that soon most of the world adopted them? Etc, etc, etc.


Well, in principle, because the reason it is uncertified is that objectively the evidence doesn’t show it is better. Obviously I’m not naive enough to think that’s the only reason that at a given point in time a given treatment isn’t approved, but if we’re arguing from principle…

And, besides, your scheme still has the government controlling your body. It just does it at one remove, by licensing the individual doctors who determine what treatments are legal (and hoo
boy if that isn’t a set-up for rampant corruption and public harm I don’t know what is).

FWIW, I’m not in favour of criminalising someone taking unlicensed medicine. I’m in favour of prohibiting the marketing and sale of unlicensed medicines. Precisely because of the risk of harm to others.


Well, that’s not really true. It could be uncertified for a number of reasons. It may still be in the process of certification which has not completed yet. Or it could be not better in the general sense, but is perhaps a better option for a specific patient’s case. It may constitute a high risk which many would consider unacceptable.

But I’m not in favor of preventing people from being able to take risks, if they choose.

Oh, certainly. I’m not suggesting that people go to candy machines and buy experimental drugs. That’s why the notion that people would all be making completely uninformed decisions is a red herring. I’m just talking about a very slight reduction in the limits on personal liberty, by moving the decision closer to the person it most directly impacts.

I’m not thinking that it’d likely result in some kind of expansive market of uncertified treatments being sold. Given the high risks involved, I’d expect that it’d only become an issue in extreme cases, and in such cases it may just end up being an expansion of the existing clinical trial system.


Why on earth don’t you think it would? We already have a huge market of bullshit remedies and supplements being sold, practitioners skirting the law on medical claims, and performing dangerous practices like chelation for unapproved indications. If you take away the legal sanctions, why would you not see an explosion of uncertified treatments?


Well, for two reasons. First, you aren’t taking away legal sanctions, as much as you are allowing people to waive legal sanctions… exactly as they already do in the case of clinical trials. And second, you aren’t making them into totally unregulated drugs. They would still be prescription drugs, and their physician would still be prescribing them. Physicians aren’t going to be just prescribing uncertified experimental drugs willy nilly.

Now, maybe you believe that physicians are unethical and would in fact be prescribing experimental drugs without consideration of their patients wellbeing, but then you’ve got bigger problems.


I’m not saying every doctor will, obviously. But quacks exist, and lax opiate prescribers exist, and we already live in a world where even conscientious doctors routinely overprescribe antibiotics or prescribe medicines that are not the most effective/cheapest for the same effectiveness.

And, as I say above, if the only line between illegality and legality is an individual doctor’s say-so, you’re creating a huge incentive for manufacturers/suppliers to bribe doctors, or for that matter to just set up their own medical schools.


But consider how small that market would be… you’re talking about treatments which would likely only be considered by the most desparate of patients, who have no option with certified drugs. And given that they are unlikely to be paid for by insurance, there isn’t really going to be a lot of money there. Even with completely unethical price gouging, since it’d apply to so few people there just wouldn’t be enough money for the pharma companies to really be bribing anyone to go after it. The only real incentive for the pharma companies to do it would be to gather clinical data.

I just don’t see this as some great danger that merits restricting the liberty of patients who have ethical doctors that think there may be an option in an uncertified drug.


Well not everyone who will take an unproven or questionable drug will be on their death bed. You also didn’t address the issue with minors at all.


Just as an aside, I think you may be vastly underestimating the cost of clinical trials in both time and resources. It would very much be in the interest of pharmaceutical companies to offload as much of that as they can and put their product out in the wild as quickly as possible.


People making the choice will be those who believe that the benefits outweigh the costs. For me, I think that would generally require that the alternative to taking the drug was pretty terrible. But if someone else decides they want to take it for fun, whatever.

Again, at this point I suspect that there is no common ground to be had here. I do not believe that we should make “bad choices” illegal. If you do, I think that constitutes a fairly fundamental disagreement about the role of government.

You also didn’t address the issue with minors at all.

Based on your previous statement, I do not believe you’ve established that minors create any new facet in the discussion. What you offered was a criticism of prescription drugs not being effectively tested with children. In this issue, the drug is uncertified, and inherently high risk for both children and adults. The fact that some drugs are likely to have harmful side effects on children doesn’t really change the equation here, since any patient choosing to take uncertified drugs would be essentially accepting unlimited risk already.

I’m not sure how what we’d be talking about here would actually end up offloading that cost though. In order to actually gather useful data, they’d still be investing similar time and resources into it.

And they wouldn’t be likely to be earning any real money on the actual cost of the drugs to the market we’re talking about.


So presumably you’re against seat belt laws, motorcycle helmet laws, automobile safety standards, truth-in-housing disclosures, OSHA…


No, because as I described above, your liberty of person is not absolute, and can be restricted if there is a substantive benefit to society by those laws.

For something like housing disclosures and OSHA, those laws clearly benefit society as a whole, similar to how minimum wage laws, while regarded as a limitation of liberty of contract, are still constitutional because the benefit to society is deemed to pass the test of substantive due process.

For seatbelt and helmet laws, these laws are perhaps less obviously ok, as their effects are more directly constrained to the person making the decision, but even there there is a fairly solid argument to be made that due to the way insurance works in our country that the costs of those decisions end up being somewhat socialized, and thus reducing that cost becomes of societal interest. Further, the requirement of something like wearing a seatbelt does not constitute a significant limitation of your liberty of person, as you won’t generally die from wearing a seat belt. While you could potentially die as a result of not being allowed to take a high risk option in treatment.


It’s not their choice, but it’s their body. We take away a lot of choices from parents in how they raise their children, and there have been a number of cases where minors have taken their parents to court so they have the right to choose. What age do you think is appropriate for a minor to decide whether or not they should take an unproven drug? Or do the rights you believe in only begin at 18 or 21?


I’m confused as to why allowing people to try untested treatments—which may or may not work—is problematic when there are already hundreds of thousands of people (with access to modern medicine) using quackery treatments—which do not work.

People self medicate with whatever they believe will help them. They don’t need to be on their deathbed to do it, and it certainly doesn’t need to involve rational thought.

Something like legality is merely another hurdle to overcome to get that sweet secret medicine doctors won’t tell you about. /s


Eh, this isn’t really a relevant argument.

Nothing about what we’re talking about here, regarding FDA certification, has any impact on the issues you’re describing. The decision maker involved doesn’t change at all, whether it’s a certified or uncertified drug.

The exact same people are making the decisions in either case… the legal guardian, under direction of a licensed physician.


What happens when taking untested drugs causes you to get another illness but it’s not readily apparent that was the cause because of insufficient testing? Will health insurance be paying for that? You can pretty much guarantee that anyone taking an unapproved medicine will have their rates hiked up, or kicked off insurance completely. Will everyone see their rates increase to cover these possibilities? You have already conceded that things like helmet and seat-belt laws are valid because of how insurance works, so why not in this case?


If you want to discuss this, then let’s discuss it. You seem to think in a world where untested and unproven drugs are available to the public then everything will and should remain the same. Why do you think that?