I don't think we should abolish the FDA. However, the current way of doing things effectively means that an intelligent American who is dying of a disease or has a loved one who is and does the research, they read the scientific papers and studies and comes to their own conclusion that they want to try a treatment that hasn't been approved, and goes through with it could be charged with a crime, just for trying to save their own life or the life of someone they love.
The FDA's role should be limited. It should require that people be informed. In some cases to ensure that people don't just whimsically scan over the information and think "well I'm satisfied" they should be required to sit through a seminar on the risks as well as how much research has actually been done and the problems there are with the studies.
Anyone who wants to bother to educate themselves fully on a given treatment should be allowed to make their own decision.
On the other side of things the FDA sometimes approves things that turn out to be very unsafe. We should create even stricter standards about what is allowed without having to sit through an informational seminar on a given treatment before consenting to it, but allow anyone any treatment they want so long as they sit through and take in the information.
Another note. I am a proponent of Medicare for all. So I think the FDA should also be involved in determining what treatments are proven as good enough to be subsidized. Otherwise people should have to shell out their own money or use private supplemental insurance (the scope of which should be limited to serious things in order to keep costs down). If you want to take a risk with a treatment that has barely proven itself then you should pay for it yourself.
FDA approval is generally required to legal access to certain drugs, and that's how things should be today. Americans should rely on the government agency to protect their best interests. The FDA is responsible for keeping America's food and drug supply safe for consumption. This system works more often than not and shouldn't be changed.
Yes, FDA approval is currently required in order to access drugs legally, because the FDA has decided that they are going to be the gatekeeper for what drugs are good for people. This is unfortunate, because people who are dying are willing to try any kind of drug. People should be allowed to take drugs with a warning.