There’s a lot of this going around this year.
An FDA panel’s recommendation to withdraw Vicodin, Percocet, and other opioid-plus-acetaminophen painkillers seems calculated to “sacrifice the interests of consumers who follow instructions for the sake of consumers who don’t”, says Jacob Sullum.
[From “”If you keep track of what you’re taking, none of this is an issue for you”]
The Federal government has pushed for mortgage bailouts for people who borrowed money they could not afford to pay back, as evidenced by Fannie’s recidivism rate of 70% on their HomeSaver Advance program which was aimed to help people overcome hardship in making their loan payments. These programs are paid for by the U.S. taxpayer, who by an overwhelming majority does not default on their mortgages.
Next came credit card “relief” which is proving to be anything but relief as lenders jack interest rates in anticipation of the new rules and contract lending as a result of the Federal government’s intervention. The chargeoff rate for credit card companies is about 12%, really high, but 40% of American credit card holders still pay off their balances monthly. The interest rates hikes won’t affect that group but it will dramatically increase the cost of borrowing for people who maintain reasonable balances on their credit cards, and the fee increases that banks are instituting more broadly affect everyone. In effect, Congress and the President created a law to protect that abusers of credit cards that is ending up costing everyone who uses credit cards.
Now we have the FDA stepping into multi-ingredient painkillers because a small percentage of people abuse them. Not to make light of any single death, but the fact remains that 400 deaths a year in a nation of over 300 million people is a rounding error on a rounding error… on a rounding error. It’s almost like they want to create reason to intervene and project regulatory power when in fact the cause is not the drugs themselves but people who refuse to follow the instructions. Getting beyond acetaminophen for a moment, what does this suggest for future medical advances that are premised on personalized drugs which combine many ingredients based on the unique physiology of a single patient.