For someone facing a painful disease or life-threatening illness, there is nothing more important than getting the proper medications or devices that will provide a cure or at least some degree of relief.
This is the approach taken by lawmakers this week with the furthering of new legislation that will get medications and medical devices into circulation much faster than in than past. The question for most people is whether this legislation will make the American people safer in the long run.
The 21st Century Cures Act
The House voted its approval of the 21st Century Cures Act yesterday according to statnews.com.
This proposed legislation, which looks like it could pass into law without substantial alteration, could have a major impact on the availability of medications and medical devices. In addition to $4.8 billion provided for various medical research initiatives, the Cures Act will also dramatically speed up the process of safety approval for drugs and devices.
For many people, the safety approval process in this country is already too fast, and speeding up the process will only increase the likelihood of introducing dangers into the medical marketplace.
On the other hand, supporters of the act claim that getting important medications and technology into the hands of patients who need them outweighs these safety concerns.
The debate between improved safety and improved speed of safety testing has been going on since governments began regulating the medical field.
Whichever side of the argument you find yourself, the most important thing you can do is protect yourself from serious illnesses and injuries. Do all the independent research you can before using a new drug or medical device, and talk to a medical malpractice lawyer right away if you have been harmed by a dangerous medical device or medication.