With regards to economics, ethics, human rights, patient care, safety or any other standard, European nations are on par with the USA and, in some cases, exceed the present state of affairs in the USA. However, when it comes to medical care, many European nations have publicly supported research into cures that benefit their patients. In the USA, almost all new treatment decisions are based upon the profitability, rather than upon the importance to the patient. Undoubtedly, the desire to prevent lower cost medicines is a key motivator for companies that want to sell the same or similar medicines at a higher price.
I have lived in Mexico for a number of years, and they offer drugs that the U.S. doesn't use. One helped save my pregnancy, with no side effects. If a drug in Europe, and other parts of the world, helps humanity, why shouldn't the U.S. accept it and use it?
It is sad to say, but anything related to medicine or the profession in the USA is primarily run by either the health insurance companies or the drug companies. The pricing and availability are completely dependent on them. If we would allow drugs available in Europe, it would allow a good bit of competition, and U.S.-based drug companies would have to adjust their pricing.
While Europe is a collection of modern countries with high standards, it is still very different from the United States. There are many factors that come into play in the United States that would not come up in the individual countries in the European Union. Also, I don't think America should ever stop being a free-thinking republic. Europe's approval of certain drugs may color our thinking, but we should not allow them to make the decision for us, that's why we fought for independence in the first place.
The polls there are losing support for legalization as it has failed. Raised crime, more usage, in portugaul (decriminalized ALL drugs) drug mortality rose. If it failed there, why do it here? Further, US legalization projects have also failed... Legalizing proponents forget these facts. And that us all I got. "Dr. K. F. Gunning, president of the Dutch National Committee on Drug Prevention, cites some revealing statistics about drug abuse and crime. Cannabis use among students increased 250 percent from 1984 to 1992. During the same period, shootings rose 40 percent, car thefts increased 62 percent, and hold-ups rose 69 percent."
First of all, Europe is a big place. While it might be possible to trust Germany or France, for example, it is much harder to assume that countries, like Estonia or Romania, are truly doing their due diligence in testing drugs. Even for larger European countries, however, the United States has no control over their testing procedures or quality controls. Safety mandates that the United States clear all drugs themselves.
Europe is a large place with many countries that have different standards or ways of testing drugs that may not live up to the standards set in the US. They should not be automatically approved, however, they should be reviewed and considered based on the grounds that they have been accepted elsewhere.
A recent article in the Pharma Times mentions that if European drugs were legal in the USA, then it would allow for regulatory competition and, perhaps, save many lives, when the person has a life-threatening illness, since they would have access to drugs that could potentially save their life. I feel that if we opened up an automatic legal option, it could create a mass of other problems. However, if drugs were allowed for experimental use to those who would choose that option, I think this would help overall in better health conditions for America.
America is known for being free! We have our own culture, background, and belief system that make us a unique people. If we choose to legalize certain drugs here, it should be for our own reasons. We should not just hand over that sort of responsibility to another governance. Europe does many things differently, such as driving laws and drinking laws. We do not follow them in these areas, and should do the same with drugs.
Although some regulations should be similar internationally, most regulations are not. The reason is that different countries have different contexts in regards to things like native health hazards, weather patterns that affect health, societal practices or prohibitions, etc. For instance, the American Southeast deals with a great deal of pollen in the Spring. If there were a drug in Europe that interacts badly with pollen, and yet was made automatically legal in America, it could make many people sick. This would be bad, not only for individuals, but also the drug companies.
Drugs that may be approved in Europe may not be safe for everyone. Each country has its own standards for what they think is acceptable and not acceptable. Every country is also different in culture, and what may be good for one, may not be good for another.
It is impossible for drugs to be scrutinized too harshly or tested too thoroughly, before release to the public. A glaring event in history that reinforces the idea that approval for release should not be automatic between countries is the thalidomide tragedy in the last century. A drug to ease morning sickness also had an anti-angiogenesis effect, resulting in limbless children born across Europe. It was never used in The United States.
The United States and Europe have different metrics for drug safety and effectiveness. For this reason drugs that are approved in Europe should not be automatically approved for use in the U.S and visa versa. Drugs approved for Europe are likely to be approved in the U.S. but the U.S. knows the drug needs and habits of its citizens and for that reason should be able to decide for itself and its people which drugs to legalize.
I disagree that we should follow Europe's lead when it comes to the approval of drugs. What good would doing what other countries do for the USA? As the old saying goes, if someone jumped off a bridge, would you, too? Just because a drug is approved in Europe, it should not be automatically approved here as well. We have our own systems and companies to research and determine if a drug should be allowed here; we don't need someone else or another country deciding for us. If that were the case, it would be useless for us to have a government and voting rights. Why not have Europe decide everything?
To each their own.