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Theoretically the government is supposed to make sure that the medicine is safe before it is allowed on the market.

According to what theory?

In theory, people injured by dangerous drugs could sue the manufacturer for damages. The government could also prosecute in the criminal courts. This would give incentives for companies to make safer drugs, but it wouldn't keep potentially life-saving drugs out of the hands of the terminally ill who have very little to lose by trying the drugs.
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