Why is De-Regulation such an important part

of the Republican party platform? 

The bottom line is because it is all about the bottom line: saving money for the super-rich and big corporations at the expense of the rest of us.

Here is a modern, tragic example of de-regulation:

We are amid an “opiate crisis.” Nearly one million Americans have died since the opiate addiction was considered to have begun in 1999. Currently, over 50,000 per year continue to die.

De-regulation is the primary cause for the opiate crisis. The FDA has relaxed regulations on approval of new drugs. This de-regulation process with the FDA has been developing for decades. As a result of lax regulations, Purdue pharmaceutical corporation and others could over-sell this Oxycontin and make false claims, such as dramatically reducing the predictions of how many people would become addicted.

Purdue pharmaceutical claimed that 1% of the people prescribed their alleged wonder drug for pain management would become addicted. However, they knew that it was at least 10%. Pharm companies also encouraged pain management to be a new “vital sign” that doctors and nurses would ask every patient, along with the blood pressure. Furthermore, they encouraged doctors to treat pain even if patients were not complaining about it, and to use their drug as a pain treatment in ways it was not meant to be used. For example, for longer periods of time or for milder pain which could be treated with aspirin or Tylenol. This was a way of expanding their market share. Fortunately, the AMA dropped pain scales as a vital sign in 2016.

Because the addiction rate was considered 1% or less, patients were not adequately warned about the addiction process. See, Oxytocin is a synthetic form of heroin – it extremely addictive. Furthermore, people will develop addiction to the drug even if they do not want to. Once the addiction started, physicians would stop prescribing the drug. As a result, many patients who were addicted resorted to using heroin. Once they started using heroin, many would die with in a few years of overdose.

Had the FDA not been de-regulated, then the scrutiny of the drug would have been greater. Studies would of shown that the drug was far more addictive and it probably would not have been approved for use, except in rare situations, such as intractable pain in patients near the end of their life, or where other options completely failed. Today, the FDA is approving drugs a record pace. Pharmaceutical companies stand to benefit, but most drugs are “me-too” drugs that are often not better than existing drugs. Also, about 70% of studies are industry funded; research shows that these studies are biased.

There are countless examples of where de-regulation harmed health and lead to loss of life, or serious financial ruin, pollution, or other problems. In 1999, President Clinton repealed the Glass-Steagall act. Repealing this law lead directly to the 2008 financial crisis. We have regulations for a reason. When anyone claims that de-regulation is good, they are just trying to save money for a special interest, some corporation, or perhaps there is some quid-pro-quo going on for a campaign contribution.

Some regulations may be outdated or could be made more efficient, but as a rule, they exist to protect people from harm. Holding-up de-regulation as a general aspect of a political platform is a way appealing to corporate power and profit over people and planet.

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