The advent of effective antibiotics and chemotherapy took place in a culture of mass drugs--i.e., single treatments intended to help wide swaths of people. Meanwhile, the "FDA evolved into a bureaucracy more concerned with avoiding risk than speeding the benefits of innovation to patients."
"Too often, the FDA refuses to approve a new drug because it doesn't work for everyone, when the goal should be to find those patients for whom it does work."
Huber argues for a shift away from the current clinical-trial model to a so-called adaptive trials model, "In which both patients and physicians would continually learn and modify treatments along the way." He outlines "how to reform the FDA, intellectual-property rights and our tort system...." and makes many recommendations that, in addition to improving healthcare, would cut costs.
The history of medicine is replete with stories of politics and personality getting in the way of advancing science and translating known facts into effective patient care. I'm looking forward to reading Huber's take on this important topic for Healthy Survivors.