Policy Forum

Overturning the FDA’s Gag Rule

February 7, 2018 12:00 PM to 1:30 PM EST

Hayek Auditorium, Cato Institute

Featuring Howard Root, Former CEO, Vascular Solutions, Inc. and author, Cardiac Arrest; Christina Sandefur, Executive Vice President, Goldwater Institute; and Jessica Flanigan, Assistant Professor, University of Richmond; moderated by Michael F. Cannon, Director of Health Policy Studies, Cato Institute.

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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration exists to certify the safety and efficacy of medical technologies. Yet all too often, the FDA polices not drugs and medical devices, but speech. The agency prohibits many people from sharing truthful and non‐​misleading information about lawful uses of FDA‐​approved products. When the FDA restricts what people can say about drugs and medical devices, it violates the free‐​speech rights of patients and guarantees they will not learn about new treatments. Does protecting patients require the government to restrict speech? Even if the answer is yes, does the First Amendment even allow such a gag rule? Please join us as we explore these questions.