Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Sending innovation elsewhere

More on how our government's policies are stifling innovation in medical technology, or pushing it overseas. Laugh-but-cry 'graph:

A spokesperson from the FDA said the agency is aware of these concerns.

“We’re reaching out to venture capitalists and entrepreneurs to include them in our discussions and have used the feedback to develop smart regulations that balance patient safety and innovation,” an FDA spokesperson noted in an email interview, and provided a link to a new program where entrepreneurs work in concert with FDA employees.

(Note: It took the FDA took two weeks to assign a spokesperson, and cancelled interviews on multiple occasions, after VentureBeat requested comments — indirectly confirming criticisms about its glacial pace.)

A bit unfair to the FDA -- yes, we actually wrote that -- in a confusing passage, but the broader point of the article obtains. Delay lowers the value of future earnings. Setting all future earnings equal, delay means that certain new ideas will have lower returns than otherwise, and those at the margin will not be funded and therefore will never reach market. What if one of those lower-return ideas would make your life more comfortable, or even save it?

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