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Rumsfeld on the damaging impact of US drug regulations

“One of the more unexpected things I discovered as CEO of a pharmaceutical company was that I had to think as much or more about the federal government than I did about our competition. I had known on an intellectual level that government was involved in the private sector in a great many ways, but it was only when I was actually in business that I felt the full impact.”

Donald Rumsfeld, Known and Unknown, page 253. He is describing his time in the private sector during the late 70s and 80s, and emerges as quite a firebrand for supply-side economics (he got to know Arthur Laffer).

Whatever you think of Rummy as a defense secretary (under the Ford and George W. Bush administrations), he comes across as a formidable man of US public and commercial life.

Here is something that I wrote about the FDA and associated drug regulation issues a while ago here.

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6 comments to Rumsfeld on the damaging impact of US drug regulations

  • James Strong

    I have never understood why people take the piss out of Rumsfeld’s analysis of ‘known knowns, known unknowns and unknown unknowns.’

    Can anyone explain why this should be mocked?

  • RRS

    Consider why it is that the “Libs,” “Progressives,” or whatever else they call themselves, never produce people with the strength of character and effectiveness of a Rumsfeld.

  • James- it made (and makes) perfect sense to me.
    If I had to hazard a guess, I’d say it was because there was a lot of opposition to him and his boss, so they were mocked. I also don’t agree with much of what they did, but still ‘unknown unknowns’ makes perfect sense to me.

  • The media and leftists in general didn’t like Rumsfeld because he told it as he saw it and most of the time that was how it really was. They cannot handle the world as it is, only as they imagine it should be in their opinion.

  • The pharmaceutical business makes its profits through government granted monopolies (patents). I can’t imagine then why he was surprised when he discovered that relations with government were most important.

  • M. Thompson

    Patents and copyright clumsily attempt the replicate property rights to ideas. With mixed success.