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November 23, 2005

More-with-less Innovation: Faster, cheaper DNA testing

We really are individuals. Every human being has a unique genetic code. This means that treatments that work for me may not work for you. This is an important issue for drug safety. Vioxx is safe and effective for some, but dangerous for others. Does this mean Vioxx should be outlawed for everyone? The FDA seems to think so, but whatever is gained by protecting those who are harmed by Vioxx is lost to those who are helped by it. Surely there must be a better way.

There is. Many private labs are developing better, faster, and cheaper ways to do DNA testing. You can read about the lastest example of such a breakthrough here. These kinds of innovations are going to allow doctors to target treatments to those who will be helped by them, while keeping them away from those who will be endangered. The FDA is a typical “one-size-fits-all” governemental approach to safety, but fortunately, the volunatry sector is rapidly giving us individualized solutions that will make all of us safer, healthier, and happier, at less cost. And the more we can Downsize DC the more resources there will be for these kinds of solutions.

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