January 27, 2005

Fantasy Commercials I

Reading this sensible article on the cost of price controls, the script of a commercial sprung to mind on the related question of bureaucratic delays to drug approvals.

A piece of paper is stamped "early approval denied" and the camera pulls back to a stereotypical bureaucrat, using the same stamp over and over. After 2-3 repeated stamps on other pages, the camera pulls back out of his office, out his building, out of DC in a frenetic pace and into a hospital room where a gravely ill woman is surrounded by beeping machines. A voice says "Sunsan Smith, and 8,548 other gravely sick patients will die because the medicine that would have safely and effectively cured them was held up by red tape. The camera backs out of the hospital and speedily returns to DC, this time the Capitol building. A generic congressman explains to an unseen lobbyist "I like the idea of reforming drug approvals to minimize overall deaths but we just can't do it. Everybody cares when we let a bad drug through. Nobody cares as much when we delay a good drug even though the delay kills more people. Pull back, go to a different hospital bed, a different patient dying, a family crying. The final cut is fade to black and big block white letters, "Nobody cares?"

If anybody ever makes this, I want the quicktime version.

Posted by TMLutas at January 27, 2005 11:42 AM