[Editor’s Note: We asked selected Xconomists a series of questions designed to zero in on the big issues of the year, including “What would you be willing to throw a punch over?”]
Regulatory overkill. We spend so much time and resources in the USA due to regulations that, while well-intentioned when conceived, are set into law due to a crisis. They are driven by emotion and the desire to protect future occurrences or to punish a minority of wrongdoers. However, in hindsight, they are usually overly burdensome, lack risk/benefit analysis, and therefore stifle innovation. The real problem is that once they become law they are nearly impossible to roll back. I would love to see an approach that identifies the most stifling of these regulations in the USA and that requires the stakeholders (regulatory body, industry, and users) to draft a completely new and modern approach to regulation every 10 years. That could help ensure that innovation can thrive and that risks and benefits are balanced.
Duane J. Roth was Chief Executive Officer and board member of CONNECT, the San Diego nonprofit organization that fosters entrepreneurship by catalyzing, accelerating, and supporting technology and life sciences innovation. He founded Alliance Pharmaceutical, and was a longtime life sciences industry executive.