To hear some powerful proponents tell it, Uncle Sam needs to really hurry up the government’s approval of drugs and medical devices. He’s got to make oversight over them easier, lighter, and less complex.
But consider just some of the health news in recent days:
- A “weak reporting system” allowed doctors and hospitals to escape for years reporting cases in which a tissue-shredding surgical tool used to operate on the uterus spread cancer cells throughout women’s bodies, The New York Times says. This worsens the disease and dims patients’ survival chances. It was not until 2013, however, that the government, prodded by reports in the Wall Street Journal and other media, collected “adverse incident” data on the tool, called a morcellator, and women’s cancers. By 2016, regulators had amassed reports of 258 women with cancers tied to morcellation procedures—and some of these cases already have proved fatal.