Free to Choose Medicine (FTCM) is a policy proposal that would lower the cost of pharmaceutical drugs while expediting approval of potentially life-saving treatments. In short, FTCM would relieve needless pain and suffering and save lives. So, why is the government anti-FTCM?
FTCM allows health care choices to be made by patients and doctors, not the federal government. In the drug approval process, after Phase I safety testing, and at least one Phase II efficacy test, drugs that are awaiting approval in the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) drug approval pipeline would be available to patients via a Free to Choose Medicine Track (FTCMT). FTCM would also create a Trade-off-Evaluation-Drug-Database (TEDD) so patients and their doctors could track the performance and results of therapies and drugs. Patient privacy would be vigorously protected in TEDD, which could only be accessed by patients and doctors to determine the risk-benefit analysis of specific drugs and treatments.
The need to implement FTCM has never been so pressing. Millions of Americans are battling COVID-19. Some doctors are attempting to treat the virus with chloroquine, and hydroxychloroquine combined with zinc, which is showing positive outcomes for some. These drugs have already been approved by FDA for uses in disease groups including arthritis, lupus and many other autoimmune disorders. Yet doctors who want to prescribe these drugs to patients suffering from coronavirus are being forbidden from doing so. As of now, these drugs fall under a category of “off label use,” which the government is currently restricting by controlling supply.
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