​Donald Trump has just made a big show of reducing the price of medications, publicly browbeating Big Pharma (long suspected of shady practices) but seeking to scrap long-standing procedures in place to assure safety and the efficacy of drugs.
One wish-list item is the intention of speeding the approval process overseen by independent federal watch-dog agencies, such as the Food & Drug Administration, and let people buy more drugs without prescriptions. Given how Big Pharma has already become​ the de facto home-grown cause of today’s opioid crisis, even with prescriptions, the idea seems disingenuous at best. Stricter, not looser, oversight is needed.
Worse, it’s as if Trump is unaware of times the FDA has protected the public from flawed drugs that Big Pharma swore were beneficial, never harmful. A notorious example was a drug approved in Europe to alleviate morning sickness in pregnant women. Some here, impatient with the approval process, bought thalidomide abroad in the ’60s  before it was approved here,and gave birth to infants with grotesquely shortened or absent limbs.
So much for condemnation of the inherently slow FDA approval process, and arguments favoring Big Pharma to loosen standards and make more pills available without prescription, which seems the true motive in Trump’s “cheaper drugs” pitch, the latest in his quest to nullify or dismantle institutions that have long served all of us well. Lives and well-being are more important; not to mention overpricing of existing drugs, which ought to be attacked first. Seems another cause for public skepticism and intense congressional scrutiny.
Ted Z. Manuel, Hyde Park

Follow the money

So there are 62 acres of open green space just south of the Loop? Should it be turned into a new park in an extremely congested neighborhood? Hell no, let’s “develop” every square inch!

Why? Easy. Follow the money. Urbs in Horto, my eye!

Richard D. Nowak, South Loop

Parkland not so sacred after all

As a young boy I lived at 6030 Stony Island and just across the street from Jackson Park.  It was a magical place where a lad could launch himself into any world he dreamed. We ran, climbed trees, played ball, and had snowball fights. We were far from the city, at least in our minds. It was our place.  Old people still pointed out where the World’s Fair was in the park and along the Midway Plaisance around the corner.

Now it seems that the park isn’t so sacred as c envisioned and people believed. There is so much open space in blighted areas of the city that would truly benefit from President Obama’s library. Why must we urbanize our beautiful parks?

Robert W. Dart, Niles

Mel, we’re done with you

It’s bad déjà vu all over again every time I see Mel Reynolds’ picture on the cover of the paper.  Like former governor Rod Blagojevich, it’s the gift that keeps on giving. With him finally going to jail again, as if there was ever any doubt, he asks us a question, which I am happy to answer. “How long does a person have to keep paying for his mistakes?” he asks.  For as long as you keep making them, Mel.

Now the three-time loser vows that when he gets out of jail, again, he will go home. To Africa. “I’m done with America,” he quivers. I can quite comfortably tell you, sir, that America is most definitely done with you.

Scot Sinclair, Third Lake