I mentioned in this post on individual choice the example of the FDA risk-reward decisions for Americans as a whole, an impossible task when each individual's needs and decision making are different (also see here). This is a couple of weeks old, but is a good article from USAToday about the millions of people who are suffering in the wake of Vioxx's removal from the market.
Sales of the drug were halted worldwide on Sept. 30, after a study showed it doubled the risk of heart attack and stroke. But, for Rubinstein, relief trumps risk.
Vioxx "was the best pain drug I had been on in 27 years," says the 47-year-old Manhattan resident, who has fibromyalgia, a chronic condition that causes pain in muscles and joints. "I felt good enough to do some exercise. Getting to work was not such a difficult thing.
These people would gladly accept the increased risk of heart problems to reduce their debilitating pain, if only the government and/or the courts would allow them to make this choice. (yes, I know that Vioxx was pulled by the maker, but this is only anticipation of a tort system that punishes the manufacturer for informed choices made by individual users).
This is a good post from Cafe Hayek on presecription drugs and individual choice