Conservatism, Consumer Choice, and the Food and Drug Administration during the Reagan Era: A Prescription for Scandal

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Lexington Books, May 16, 2014 - History - 260 pages
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In the last quarter of the 20th century, politicians in Washington, as well as interest groups, regulatory policy makers, and drug industry leaders were forced to confront the hot-button issue of pharmaceutical regulation. The struggle always centered on product innovation, consumer protection, and choice in the free market. As the American economy stuttered in the late 1970s, the stakes were extremely high for the powerful drug industry and the American public. At the center of this drama was the Food and Drug Administration, which was censured from both the left and right of the political spectrum for being too strict and too lenient in the application of its regulatory powers.

Lucas Richert explores the FDA, drugs, and politics in the context of the watershed Reagan era, a period when the rhetoric of limited government, reduced regulation, and enhanced cooperation between businesses and U.S. regulatory agencies was on the ascent. As he investigates the controversies surrounding Laetrile, Reye’s Syndrome, Oraflex, patient package inserts, diet pills, and HIV/AIDS drugs, Richert argues that the practical application of conservative economic principles to the American drug industry was A Prescription for Scandal.
 

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Contents

Introduction
1
1 The FDA in the Political and Regulatory Order 1906Present
15
2 Disenchantment and Drug Regulation during the Seventies
37
3 President Carter and the FDA
55
Reagan and the FDA in 19801982
77
5 The Continuing Evolution of the FDA 19831984
115
6 Reagans Leadership Health Activism and the HIVAIDS Crisis
145
Scandal and Beyond
167
8 Conclusion
191
Bibliography
199
Index
217
About the Author
223
Copyright

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About the author (2014)

Lucas Richert is a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Saskatchewan.

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