Derek Lowe has some interesting observations about innovation in the drug industry. Actually, he analyzes proposals made by Peter Lansbury in this Op-Ed piece. One bold suggestion made by Lansbury was the elimination of Phase III trials, to which Lowe had the following response:
This is where Lansbury’s academic background shows, I think. He makes no mention of a major thing that would have to happen before we loosen up the regulatory environment: tort reform. I mean, drugs make it all the way through Phase III and onto the market for years before the bad news shows up. And does that slow down the trial lawyers? Hah! They come flapping down, stropping their beaks, cawing about “defective products” and “cash rewards.” Can you imagine what these creatures would do to the industry if we ditched Phase III trials? We’d be a pile of bones, bleaching in the sun.
Ain’t that the truth.