Previously I asked whether it would be a good thing to have a software FDA - a central agency that made you go through a lengthy and incredibly expensive application process to determine if the code you'd just written was good enough and permissible to sell to the public. To most people, this sounds like a stupid idea - yet this is exactly what we have in medicine. The idea of course is to keep people safe, but there's a balance. Be too generous with approvals, and people will die from unsafe medicine.
This is why a former head of the FDA has suggested not doing away with the FDA entirely, but basing drug approvals on safety, and collecting data on efficacy after marketing.
This is no longer a thought experiment, although it's not software where we're seeing a proposed expansion of the FDA model. There is now a serious suggestion to have an FDA equivalent for financial products. Read more here.
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