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Week in Review: Deadly FDA

October 3, 2020

Bob (not his real name) is currently in the fight of his life. What started as cancerous tumors on his spine have now spread to his brain, and sadly, one last opportunity at trying an investigational treatment was blocked by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Bob is not alone: Too many terminally ill patients are fighting not just their illnesses, but also slow and outdated bureaucracy that prevents them from trying options that could save their lives. And now, the Goldwater Institute is seeking to shine a light on the process that is keeping patients from accessing treatments and having control of the course of their own health.

We’ve filed a Freedom of Information Act request for details about the FDA’s drug approval process in Bob’s case. Unfortunately, that information will come too late for Bob, who is currently preparing to enter hospice care. But fortunately, Congress has the authority—and the responsibility—to also request these records, hold oversight hearings, and investigate if and how the FDA is practicing medicine so that this never happens again.

Read more about Bob’s story—and what Goldwater is doing to help patients like him—at In Defense of Liberty.

The New—and Uniting—U.S. History Curriculum

Listen up, parents, teachers, and school board members: There’s a new national curriculum in store.

In the face of political curricula like the 1619 Project being embraced in schools across the country, Goldwater Institute Director of Education Policy Matt Beienburg—who also directs Goldwater’s Van Sittert Center for Constitutional Advocacy—writes this week in the Washington Examiner that there’s a new curriculum that may help to counteract this troubling trend. Released yesterday—on the eve of Constitution Day—by civil rights leader Bob Woodson and the 1776 Unites project, this new curriculum “tackles some of the biggest, most pointed questions of our time: questions around race, opportunity, and the promise of America.”

“Far from a nationally mandated new package or pedagogy,” Beienburg writes that the new curriculum provides lesson plans, reading guides, assessments, activities, and other resources that will offer “a serious-minded reflection on race, coupled with a deep appreciation for America’s political and economic principles that uphold the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for millions of every color and creed.”

Read Beienburg’s op-ed here.

Doctors in the Dark

For all the effort in removing clinical obstacles and bureaucratic delays during the COVID-19 pandemic, one FDA policy is keeping doctors in the dark and standing in the way of treatments that could be crucial in our nationwide fight against the virus.

As Goldwater Institute Director of Healthcare Policy Naomi Lopez writes this week at RealClearPolicy, that policy is the FDA’s gag rule on off-label treatments. This rule prevents manufacturers from sharing truthful and scientific information about off-label usage, even though prescribing off-label treatments is extremely common. And during the COVID-19 pandemic, this gag order has resulted in medical directors and doctors swapping anecdotes about coronavirus treatments though social media and group texts more often than might have otherwise occurred.

“It is time to rescind this policy that is not only outdated but is likely limiting treatment options at a time when doctors and their patients need them most,” Lopez writes. You can read Lopez’s full op-ed here.

UPCOMING: Join Us for These Special Events!

Our Goldwater Institute experts are already having a busy month—here are a few events they’ll be a part of in the coming days. We hope you can join us for one or all of these!

  • This Tuesday (October 6), the Goldwater Institute, along with Michigan’s Mackinac Center for Public Policy, will be releasing a new report from Mackinac Center Director of Environmental Policy Jason Hayes that reflects on the historical, political, and policy reasons our nation’s publicly managed forests are plagued by large, dangerous wildfires. Join us for a virtual conversation with Hayes on Tuesday to learn more about wildfires and what can be done to control them. RSVP for this event here.
  • On Thursday (October 8), Goldwater Institute Senior Attorney Jacob Huebert will be taking part in a virtual Heritage Foundation panel discussion on the changing landscape of gun ownership in America and what this means for the larger debate on gun control. This year, Huebert represented four Chicago-area residents in a lawsuit against the state of Illinois, challenging the state’s long delays in issued needed firearms licensing cards as a denial of their Second Amendment rights. RSVP for this event here.
  • And the 2020 Goldwater Institute Virtual Annual Dinner is now less than two weeks away! Please join us on Friday, October 16 as we welcome guests Dennis Prager and U.S. Representative Andy Biggs for a special night of celebrating freedom. Get your tickets now!

Stay tuned for announcements about future Goldwater events in 2020!



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