Weighing the Risks and Benefits

From the Washington Post, on Vioxx's demise (free registration required):

When Neaton faxed him the "unblinded" data, the signal was clear: Within the small population of people suffering from cardiovascular disease, the number from the Vioxx group after 18 months of study was twice as high as the placebo group -- 15 heart attacks or strokes per 1,000 patients per year, versus 7.5 for the sugar pill. "I looked at it and concurred immediately that the trial should stop," Baron said.

Suppose you had arthritis and suffered from severe, chronic joint pain. Would you choose to take a medication that raised your risk of heart attack and stroke from 0.0075 to 0.015 but offered you arthritis pain relief?

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While I agree with your

While I agree with your specific point here, things are not so dire. Thanks to the wonderful loopholes of the Supplements Act, arthritis suffers can keep on using COX-2 inhibitors simply by taking them in herbal form, which requires no prescription and is not subject to FDA oversight unless it is a severe danger to the public health. I'd be happy to direct people to specific products if they are in pain.

You talk like you're smart

You talk like you're smart enough to decide a thing like that for yourself. If you were, then the government might not need to decide for you whether or not you can take a drug. However, the government, in its infinite wisdom, is going to make that choice for you and the rest of your fellow Americans who are just too dumb to make such an important decision. Makes ya sleep better, don't it?

You might like to at least

You might like to at least be fully advised so you COULD weigh the risks and benefits.

How do you get to the point

How do you get to the point where you are fully advised? Can only the government make sure you have enough information to make that decision? In a perfect world, you would know all the risks and benefits of a given drug, and people behave as though government regulation can achieve that. How would you know when people are fully advised of the risks and benefits, and how would you make that happen? Does it require government, or can it happen in a free market?

Bejus, Lisa, that's 7

Bejus, Lisa, that's 7 questions, counting the compound parts. I just said it would help to be fully advised. Maybe it "can happen" in a free market but it's considerably more likely to happen in a properly regulated environment. And we're talking about health care, not widget sales.

Sorry- I'll keep the

Sorry- I'll keep the questions few and simple.
"Maybe it can happen in a free market, but it's considerably more likely to happen in a properly regulated environment." Where's your proof?
"We're talking about health care, not widget sales." So what? Is health care somehow different from other economic goods?