Friday, March 13, 2020

FDA Too Slow For Corona

Kudos to the NY Times! (something I rarely say).

As anyone who has ever worked in a large bureaucratic organization, public or private knows, any such organization is always being pulled toward SLOW. "analysis paralysis", "turf wars", "red tape", "byzantine rules", etc, etc

When business gets big enough so that many of the people believe that "safety" is MUCH preferable to any sort of risk, then "CYA" (Cover Your Ass) becomes the rule. In government, with no competition and no profit motive, it is always the rule of the day. Even in war, it is a large factor.

So, we see that the FDA failed to do its job on Corona.

The liberal answer to this will be MORE BUREAUCRACY! (if the bloodletting failed, do it earlier and more aggressively). The conservative answer is LESS government, more market, more competition! It's an important choice.

But the approval process for laboratory-developed tests was proving onerous. Private and university clinical laboratories, which typically have the latitude to develop their own tests, were frustrated about the speed of the F.D.A. as they prepared applications for emergency approvals from the agency for their coronavirus tests. 
Dr. Alex Greninger, an assistant professor at the University of Washington Medical Center in Seattle, said he became exasperated in mid-February as he communicated with the F.D.A. over getting his application ready to begin testing. “This virus is faster than the F.D.A.,” he said, adding that at one point the agency required him to submit materials through the mail in addition to over email.

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