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PRESS RELEASE: POLL: 93% of Voters Want FDA Reform to Allow Faster Approval of Prescription Drugs

March 7, 2019

ALSO: 95% of Voters Believe Patients and Doctors, not Bureaucrats, Should Be Most Responsible for Treatment Decisions

stethoscope and insurance docs

Successor to Scott Gottlieb at FDA Needs to Move Faster to Meet American Demand for FDA Reform

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, IL – A new poll commissioned by The Heartland Institute, found that 92.8% of voters support the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) making “prescription drugs better, available sooner, and at a lower cost.”

A large majority (95%) of voters believe that patients and doctors – not Washington bureaucrats, insurance companies, or politicians – should be “most responsible for making decisions regarding medical treatments and care.”

The poll was conducted by Victory Enterprises from February 11-14, 2019 of 500 voters – defined as those who voted in the last election and plan to vote in the next election. The margin of error for this scientific nationwide survey is +/- 4.38%.

See the poll results here.

To interview Heartland Institute experts about these poll results and the need to reform the FDA, please contact Director of Communications Jim Lakely at jlakely@heartland.org or on his cell: 312-731-9364.

The survey found that 49.8% would “support President Trump if he reformed the FDA drug approval process through an administrative approach without Congressional action.” Just 38.4% opposed such an action. A strong majority of respondents (57.2%) also gave President Trump “most” or “some” of the credit for the passage of Right To Try legislation last year, a law that allows terminally ill patients faster and expanded access to potentially life-saving treatment.

The survey also found that respondents ranked health care as the policy issue “of most importance” to them (19.4%), followed by climate change/environment (11.4%), and the economy (11%).

“At the direction of President Trump, FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb performed a superb job leading an often slow-moving bureaucracy to approve a record-breaking number of generic drugs over the last year,” said Dr. Tim Huelskamp, president of The Heartland Institute. “But the drug-approval process still doesn’t move nearly fast enough. It still takes an average of 12 years and $3 billion to move a single drug to market. Americans deserve better.

“Gottlieb’s successor must continue to rethink the agency’s mission, and take lessons from Japan, China and Israel – who often get drugs to market faster and at less cost to drug companies and consumers,” Huelskamp added. “The FDA has the chance to act as a bridge for innovation rather than a barrier by utilizing real-world data to reform prolonged clinical trials and accelerate access to potentially lifesaving medication. There is no reason why the United States should be lagging so far behind other nations, and it is literally costing American lives every day.”

“In 1992 a ‘parallel track’ was created within FDA to allow AIDS patients to access life-saving medications years ahead of the time it would normally take FDA to approve such medications,” said Heartland Institute Research Director Edward Hudgins. “The ad hoc and often confusing paths for expedited approval created since then have not eliminated the life-threatening certification delays.

“With innovative techniques like gene editing we could be entering a golden age of medicine,” he said. “The next FDA commissioner needs to adopt an equally innovative, patient-centered, Free To Choose Medicine approach to approving new drugs, to bring the FDA into the twenty-first century.”

Visit the Free To Choose Medicine website to learn more about the need to reform the FDA and speed up the drug-approval process in a way that saves lives and maintains drug safety.


The Heartland Institute is a 35-year-old national nonprofit organization headquartered in Arlington Heights, Illinois. Its mission is to discover, develop, and promote free-market solutions to social and economic problems. For more information, visit our website or call 312/377-4000.

Author
Tim Huelskamp served as president of The Heartland Institute from 2017 to 2019.
Author
Edward Hudgins is the research director for The Heartland Institute.
ehudgins@heartland.org @DrEdwardHudgins
What is Free to Choose Medicine?

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