Thursday, May 10, 2007

Centralized authority preparing for our next influenza pandemic?

The CDC is preparing for our next influenza pandemic which our recent SARS scare gave us figures of a possibility of 1 and 8 deaths. According to Hayden F.G. (2001), we have available antiviral agents should a pandemic arise, which due to analysis of human historical frequency is due in our lifetime. So, the question is, can a central authority, like the CDC, adequately prepare us for the next influenza pandemic?

Put this question in economic terms: Can a central authority plan for the efficient distribution of resources? Can the CDC plan for the efficient distribution of antiviral agents? This depends on knowledge in totality of all the needs of the country in case of a flu pandemic.
According to Hayek in Use of Knowledge, "it is a problem of the utilization of knowledge which is not given to anyone in its totality." Hayek would worry that the CDC is planning the fate of our safety by determining the needs of antivirals in case a pandemic does arise. So would I.

Hayden, F. G. (2001) “Perspectives on antiviral use duringpandemic influenzae” Philos. Trans. R. Soc. London B, Biol.Sci., 356 1877-84

No comments: