Peter Thiel vs. the FDA
See, the thing is, before a candidate drug is tested on humans, it’s tested for a very long time on animals, usually mice. This tells us what the drug is likely to do in a mammalian system.
It doesn’t tell us what’s going to happen in another species, namely humans. We’re different from rodents (sometimes).
We can extrapolate that if a compound kills a mouse dead, it would probably kill us too. But other things, like cognitive effects or things that might take years to appear, may not show up in rodents.
There are enormous risks to fast-tracking drugs. And there is an alternative: compassionate use. This is an exception that the FDA can use to release a drug from clinical trials early, if it performs brilliantly and is lifesaving.
As this article points out, the driving factor for forming the FDA in the first place was thalidomide, a very effective anti-morning sickness of pregnancy drug. The only problem was that many of the women who took it gave birth to severely deformed babies.
Clearly, we must protect people from untested drugs. Yes, we need solutions to pressing problems. But we’re not going to get solutions by jumping the tracks. Like it or not, science is an exacting….science.