Peter Huber on Better Medicine

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Sweet-Carolina-Photography-CC-BY

The vital core of medicine is now on the same plummeting-cost trajectory as microchips and software, says Peter Huber. But the Food and Drug Administration rules that govern the rollout of 21st-century drugs were designed for the far less powerful 20th-century tools of pharmacology. The regulations were cobbled together at a time when nobody could read the molecular-scale code that controls so much of health and disease. Drugs were designed mainly by hunches and guesswork, and very few worked well. The safe and effective use of medicine depended on gathering purely statistical information about how drugs affect high-level clinical symptoms.

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