Limiting medical drugs
Context: Every day 76 million valium tablets are taken in the USA.
Claim: Certain drugs should be "forbidden", that is more restricted than prescription drugs. This would allow regulators to feel more secure in releasing new drugs to some members of the public whilst making them unavailable to the majority. Categories of "forbidden" drugs might be 1. Those prescribable only by specialists; 2. Prescribable only to the desperate, [eg] those with life-threatening or incurable illnesses, or to those who have not been helped by any other remedy; 3. Drugs administered only in "dedicated" institutions or treatment of some particular condition, [eg] centres which treat rare diseases, or hospices for the dying, or alcohol and drug treatment centres. One or more restriction could be imposed simultaneously. One benefit of these minutely graduated categories is that drugs could be released to the public by degrees. Initially access would be quite restricted; at first new drugs might be prescribable only by specialist, and/or only to the desperate, and/or only in special centres, [ie] to patients and under circumstances in which taking greater risks than the average patient is justified. By degrees restriction would gradually diminish as safety and efficacy was proved, with the early users performing a guinea-pig function for the rest of the population.
Subjects: Medicine Pharmacy
Type Classification: D: Detailed strategies