If a new medicine would cure arthritis but kill 1 out of 100 people who took it, would you want it to be legal? What about a vaccine that would kill 1 in 20, but keep the others from getting cancer?
No. And no. If it were one in a million, I might think differently. But that’s still a horrible risk to take. I can’t imagine the FDA being on board with anything like that. Then again, I’m sure pharmaceutical companies have no scruples when it comes to greasing the palms of the right bureaucrats.
Could you imagine the commercial for that arthritis drug though? You’ve got an older couple enjoying the sunny days of retirement. They’re rowing a boat. They’re playing golf. They’re sipping iced tea. There’s an updated version of a song that was popular in the mid-’70s playing. And then the voiceover guy very quickly glosses over side effects like drowsiness, nausea, diarrhea, blood in urine, a one in 100 chance of fatality…
Would you release these potentially fatal drugs on the market? Let me know down in the comments!
*The Question of the Week can be found in The Book of Questions by Gregory Stock, Ph.D.