Tim Carney on Drugs

Our good friend Tim Carney writes in today’s Examiner about how Congress is pushing to expand the FDA’s authority over prescription drugs, and why the pharmaceutical companies couldn’t be happier:

When the U.S. Senate passed a bill May 9 to expand the Food and Drug Administration’s authority to regulate prescription drugs, the big drug makers applauded. This latest expansion of government regulatory power marked another win for the pharmaceutical industry, which has one of the most successful lobbying records in town.

The U.S. pharmaceutical industry is built on federal regulations and more often than not finds itself on the side of increased government control over pharmaceuticals. This year’s push (spearheaded by “Liberal Lion” Teddy Kennedy) to heighten FDA oversight is no exception — the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers Association is a key backer of Kennedy’s legislation, which holds a mixed bag of relief and pain for consumers and taxpayers, but is fairly consistent on these two scores: It increases government power and helps the current pharmaceutical companies.