Despite the widespread belief that government regulation holds back progress in medical care, the historical evidence overwhelmingly suggests otherwise.
Nutritional and herbal supplements are barely regulated at all: so by this argument there should be all kinds of medical progress stemming from that area. But it hasn’t happened. supplements are mostly useless, yet people buy them anyhow. There’s very little regulation of medical developments in third world countries – why aren’t they a a fount of medical progress? . . .
In 1900, few of the drugs in the pharmocopoeia actually worked. . . . Why did they have customers? Why did doctors even exist? Why did literally thousands of years of low regulation result in almost no progress? The Roman Empire had low marginal tax rates too, and good security of private property most of the time – why so little progress? . . .
Nobody regulated psychologists, so the free market scotched Freudian analysis – in your dreams.
Mostly, this appears to be because consumers are woefully incapable of distinguishing between effective and ineffective medical treatments. Bureaucracies, in contrast, are much more capable of evaluating these questions.