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Drug Company: What we've done for you lately.


Guest ncm2169
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Guest ncm2169

Just saw a TV ad for Pfizer. This outfit tells us we should feel good about them because, "We were there in 1942 to manufacture penicillin when no one else could manufacture enough penicillin for our soldiers."

 

Hmmm...maybe the problem was that there wasn't enough saltpeter available. ;-)

 

Un-fucking-believable.

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>Un-fucking-believable.

 

I don't get your point. Pfizer is one of the most productive pharmaceutical companies on the planet, producing scores of products which save the lives of countless human beings every single day. To take but one of many examples, one of the most ominous and fatal opportunistic infections for people with HIV used to be cryptococcal meningitis, until Pfizer developed Diflucan. Tens of thousands of people with HIV in this country - at least - owe their lives to Pfizer, not to mention the hundreds of thousands of human beings in Africa infected with HIV to whom Pfizer distributed this medication for free.

 

I'll never understand why it's so fashionable in some circles to bash the pharmaceutical industry. It's difficult to think of many industries - or many people - who do more to improve the quality of people's lives, and to lengthen their duration, than these companies.

 

You post wasn't exactly a model of written clarity, so I don't really know if you were suggesting that Pfizer has done very little since 1942 (although that was what it suggested to me), but whether that was your point or it wasn't, my point is still the same.

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Well, of course I could be waaaay off the mark in my interpretation of others words, as it wouldn't be the first time, but imo, ncm was referrring to the use of penicillin in the treatment of veneral diseases (ala the reference to salt peter to kill the sex drive). Salt peter was a standard treatment meted out to soldiers for just such a purpose.

 

As far as the pharmaceutical companies go, they sure have, once again, imho, a less than stellar record of giving a "shit" about people. Like all companies, they thrive on profit, rather than humanity! How many times have they sold out-dated, defective drugs to third world countries in a dump the inventory scheme, because they can't sell them here in the USA? Look at their dump policy of ineffective, stock-piled AIDS drugs onto Africa as an example, all with the support of the federal government.

 

Why are they allowed to charge $20 a pill for AIDS medication that costs them less than 1 cent to manufacture????

 

These companies, HAVE no right to advertise themselves as "humanists", which is the way that I interpreted ncm's post. :)

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Guest houseboy

>Why are they allowed to charge $20 a pill for AIDS medication

>that costs them less than 1 cent to manufacture????

 

Why are there so many new HIV infections in this country when all but the most oblivious know how infection can be prevented?

 

Sean Lespagnol

Chicago, IL

http://www.seanlespagnol.com

 

"Big and tasty - every day!"

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>Why are there so many new HIV infections in this country when

>all but the most oblivious know how infection can be

>prevented?

 

 

With all due respect, I understand your point, but I REALLY don't understand what it has to do with the topic under discusssion??

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Guest jeffOH

I haven't seen the Pfizer commercial yet, but I've seen the most annoying Walmart commercials telling us how "good" they are for communities. I'm sure this is in response to those communities fighting the "big box" retailers, with codes limiting their size. Also, there's a big battle in California with Walmart/Sam's Club Super Centers. They've built one here in Columbus and it's obnoxiously huge. I suppose all these poor people whose jobs have been "outsourced" need someplace they can afford to shop.

 

JEFF

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ncm2169 is thinging of VD but in truth, penicillin was one of the reasons we won world war two. these were some remarkable inventions such as radar that helped the allies win and this was one of them; up until penicillin, infestions from wounds was a major cause of death of the troops(not sure but i think that in the civil war more men died of infections from wounds than the physical damage the wound itself).being able how to figure out the way to mass produce penicillin was a major achievement of the war. treatment for VD was a secondary benefit.

 

there is nothing wrong with profit; drug companies making a profit will cause more activity in that area to the benefit of everyone. if a drug like viagra is successful, then others will come out with similiar drugs and eventually the price will come down. in areas where there is little demand, drug companies do not bother to researh new drugs that could help/cure the problem (the government helps in this area of "orphan drugs" to encourage such research) as there are no profits to be made.

 

it is expensive to research, test and develop new drugs and that is reflected in the price as well as profits. the profits go to shareholders and not "the company"; they are entitled to be rewarded for their investment. if there were no return on their money, they would invest in something else that paid a higher return. less investment will mean less drugs. all this is just old economics 101.

 

what puzzles me is why no one offsets the cost of drugs with the savings they produce(forget the financial benefit of saved lives). for example residential mental health treatment centers have pretty much closed due to drugs like prozac. the famed menninger's used to have hundreds of people living in the institution and it closed due to lack of demand. not only is prozac cheaper than the cost of housing a person but there is the benefit of returning a person to a productive life in society.

 

getting drugs to people who can not afford them is another issue and probabally what earns drug companies the undeserved hatred. this to me is the main problem and not profits.

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>there is nothing wrong with profit; drug companies making a

>profit will cause more activity in that area to the benefit of

>everyone.

 

This is basically the heart of the matter.

 

Although most of the world has come to reject communist theory and has come to understand that capitalism and the profit motive are to be encouraged, there are still small enclaves in the world - such as Havana, North Korea, and pockets of leftist drones in American gay ghettos - who have yet to embrace this. They still think that it's inherently evil for companies to make profit and that it would be much better if everything were communal and wealth were confiscated.

 

In the meantime, these same people run to the drugstore to gobble up the pharmaceutical products which exist due to the very companies they claim to despise. They don't understand that the reason scientists work 18 hours a day trying to discover new drug treatments, and the reason that pharmaceutical companies invest tens of millions of dollars in R&D for new drug treatments, is precisely because of the profit motive.

 

That's why most of the world's greatest and most important inventions and discoveries are generated by the capitalist Western World - and mostly the United States - and not by those great bastions of socialism.

 

As I said, virtually the entire civilized world - with a few tiny, freakish exceptions - has renounced the notion that making profit is a bad thing and that the capitalism is evil. But I sometimes forget that this Board is populated by many people who have not yet given up on their trite socialist hostility towards the profit motive - even as they piggishly consume the fruits of the capitalism which they claim to hate.

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Guest houseboy

Because people get all bent out of shape when the pharmaceutical companies are trying to make a profit (however large) off their product when the easiest way to avoid having to pay $20 for HIV medication is to avoid getting HIV by buying a $10 box of condoms.

 

Sean Lespagnol

Chicago, IL

http://www.seanlespagnol.com

 

"Big and tasty - every day!"

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Guest Merlin

It is also not true that drug manufacturers make huge profits. Their return on investment runs about 6% per the Wall St Journal. Even the word "profit" is a bit misleading, because most profits are used to finance research and development of new drugs. I remember reading that Merck invested over a billion to develop its protease inhibiter for HIV, not including the later expense of building the plant and production facilities. Where did the billion come from? Plucked from trees? Of course not. It came from the evil, evil, profits from prior drugs. Once the drug is discovered, developed and tested to satisfy the FDA, it may be true that the individual pill may cost pennies to make, although some are very expensive to make. But to suggest that drug companies cannot recover their investment, and are limited to a reasonable profit on the pennies that each pill costs, is to condemn the drug companies to bankruptcy. Then who will develop new drugs? Liberal do gooders? Yeah right. Democrats love the golden eggs but hate that goose.

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>I haven't seen the Pfizer commercial yet, but I've seen the

>most annoying Walmart commercials telling us how "good" they

>are for communities.

 

Those fucks have forced a ballot initiative in one of our California cities (Inglewood) that banned 'supercenters', but what's truly evil is that if they dupe the voters into approving it, that's IT. They don't need any permits, inspections, studies, etc... They get everything they want, the city doesn't even get fees, let alone any say whatsoever into their impact on the community!

 

Remember when there were people in government doing anti-trust work? I say you force a breakup, Say over a certain size (the average non-supercenter WalMart store) you can only have 2 or 3 stores in a certain radius, all the others must be sold to a competitor (Mejiers?). Then you have real competition for Walmart itself and they have less influence on manufacturing!

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RE: Doug Company: What we've done for you lately.

 

houseboy, you may be a nice and hot guy, but your post here is simplistic. Unfortunately, it is too late for a few million people to take you up on your wise and very original sugggestion.

The Abbott drug company just jacked up the price of its HIV drug Norvir FOUR HUNDRED PERCENT!! This is a drug that has been on the market for some time and is used as a booster in many other HIV drugs. The net effect of the hike is to make Abbott's drug Kaletra more affordable and force people to buy it because they can't afford the Norvir-boosted alternatives..

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Guest houseboy

RE: Doug Company: What we've done for you lately.

 

If you read my earlier post, you will notice that I was talking about new infections. In the U.S., for that matter, since I realize that a child prostitute in Thailand has little choice when it comes to what kind of protection to use.

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RE: Doug Company: What we've done for you lately.

 

I do agree with what a few of you have said that the the drug makers must charge a lot for meds to cover the cost of research and the making of the pills which I can imgaine is far from being cheap. But how long is long enough to cover the costs of the research and the begining of making the meds? 20 bucks here and there for that magical little blue pill is not too much and heck some drs have samples so it's free but lets talk about the real meds. Meds that people need on a daily basis to stay alive to see their childern grow, to be productive hopefully, and have a sence of selfworth. I am now taking taking meds for my hiv status. Thankfully unlike many Americans I have insurance dual insurance at that so I pay nothing out of my own pocket (thank the stars and the powers that be). BUT if I didn't have ANY insurance I like many Americans young and old would have to choose buy the meds or eat, pay the rent, pay the electric bill, get little Johnny or Sussie new shoes. I am taking 5 pills once a day. I wish I had the bottels that had the prices on them but I threw them out. Lets just say that they each run in the area of $150 to over $300. The $300 one is for a 30 supply. Now I am not sure what the cost for heart medication or insuline and the supplies needed to take costs but it adds up. Americans are either earning less, are not working at all, or if they are working do not have the much needed medical insurance. I think that what many are upset about other then the fact that the price of meds are out of a lot of peoples affordability is the lack of serious medical coverage. It amazes me but it seems like it would be more cost effective in the long run if there were medical coverage for everyone in this counrty. Maybe I'm looking at it too simply but the way I figure it is healthy people equals more productivity. I don't know maybe I'm just being silly and my more bleeding heart liberal side is coming out.

 

Hugs,

Greg

Ps For those wondering even though I am on meds and have been now for slightly over a month everything is going quite well. I've still got all the sass, cuteness and cuddelness as before if not more :-D

Greg Seattle Wa seaboy4hire@yahoo.com

http://www.male4malescorts.com/reviews/gregseattle.html http://briefcase.yahoo.com/seaboy4hire

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RE: Doug Company: What we've done for you lately.

 

seaboy, you give three discriptions of americans:1)not working, 2)if working, working for less money or 3)if working, not having medical coverage. may i suggest that many americans have had increases in incomes, many americans have medical insurance (i believe that about 85% of americans have health insurance and while one unemployed person is one too many, unemployment is coming down and by world standards it is low (europe is far worse off).

 

as i posted above, the issue is how to get coverage to the 15% not insured and to those who can not afford what they need. many of these are on medicade or other such programs; there are special programs for children; etc. there are only two ways to ration any product: by standing in que(canada where a specific medical service can take months to get) or by price(medical services going only to those who can afford it). britian has a mix of the two. you could devote the entire us economy to health care and there would still not be enough resources to give everyone all the coverage they want; as the "boomers" age, the demands on health care systems will be huge and almost impossible to deliver.

 

there is no "free lunch"; it is only a question of costs and where to put limits. there can be no unlimited, top quality, "on demand" health care system.

 

finally, people do need to take some responsibility for their own health. i resent paying for the health care of smokers, bare backing hiv+, and obese(due to nonexercising and eating "wrong") people. why should those of us who do not smoke, have safe sex, exercise and eat properly pay for those who do not. i do not mean to attack anyone specifically, but this is a pet peve of mine.

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Guest ReturnOfS

RE: Doug Company: What we've done for you lately.

 

>....have safe sex,....

 

There is just something about someone saying the above statement about himself, who hires escorts, that just seems funny.

 

AIDS isn't the only STD out there, you know. Also total safe sex requires more than just a condom.

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RE: Doug Company: What we've done for you lately.

 

>(i believe that about 85% of americans have health

>insurance and while one unemployed person is one too many,

>unemployment is coming down and by world standards it is low

>(europe is far worse off).

 

A couple problems with taking comfort in this number. The trend in percent of population covered seems to be moving down – not up – and a good portion of those covered by insurance do not have prescription drug coverage. That’s why this particular aspect of the health care system needs some looking into.

 

I imagine the downward trend in coverage is directly attributably to the increase in unemployment, but I do not believe that the health care of a population in a wealthy, advanced country should be tied so directly to the economy. The economy is always going to be cyclical and we can’t afford to neglect health care in the lean economic years. It just seems stupid and shortsighted.

 

>there is no "free lunch"; it is only a question of costs and

>where to put limits. there can be no unlimited, top quality,

>"on demand" health care system.

 

I agree that there has to be some kind of rationing system, but it shouldn’t be based solely on one’s ability to pay. That is just immoral.

 

I have no problem with the drug companies making a reasonable profit, and if Merlin’s statistics are correct, there is nothing obscene about a 6% ROI. The only thing that I just can’t understand is the huge price differences in the US and other countries.

 

The whole “safety” issue is just bullshit. Do they really expect us to believe the drugs in Canada are somehow less safe? Puh-lease. That’s the most ridiculous argument I’ve ever heard. Even if it were somehow true, how dare they pass off inferior drugs to the Canadians? They are either lying or screwing the Canadians, and either way, they are bastards for that.

 

 

>why should those of us who do not smoke, have

>safe sex, exercise and eat properly pay for those who do not.

>i do not mean to attack anyone specifically, but this is a pet

>peve of mine.

 

Do you drink? Ride motorcycles? Ski? Travel to places in the world where there are nasty bugs? Virtually everyone exhibits some kind of behavior that others find unacceptable. I resent spending large sums of money to rescue people who participate in “extreme” sports and then get into trouble. Just because I resent it doesn’t mean the jerks don’t have a right to be rescued.

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RE: Doug Company: What we've done for you lately.

 

i said nothing about "safety" of drugs from canada; not sure where that came from.

 

there is risk in life in everything we do; however, certain activities like smoking harm health; not exercising harms health; eating a box of large glazed donuts harms health(an obese woman in my office weighing about 500 pounds "snacks" everyday on a dozen large glazed donuts!), etc. extreme sports done without protection and without being properly trained fall into the same class. what i am saying is that there is such a thing as personal responsibility to reduce the risks that we face. i do not like paying for the lazy persons who increase the costs of my insurance.

 

yes, "safe" sex includes protecting ones self from all types of STD's as well as aids; you can hire an escort and have "safe" sex; the two are not exclusive of each other.

 

basic healthcare services should be available to all; the problem is how to define "basic" and who pays for it.

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RE: Doug Company: What we've done for you lately.

 

“i said nothing about "safety" of drugs from canada; not sure where that came from.”

 

Maybe it has something to do with the current administration’s insistence on using high profit brand name drugs from American companies in the recently allocated $3 billion global aids fight. As the administration says these are “safe” versus generic aids drugs from other countries. Result only ¼ as many aids patients can be treated while 8,000 people a day die of aids.

 

Except for the fact that prescriptions are covered by health insurance (most times but not always), I really don’t know why you are ranting about health insurance coverage in a thread about the high cost of pharmaceuticals. That aside, this is the richest nation in the entire history of the world, and to deny health insurance coverage to anyone is ridiculous.

 

I bet you work someplace where you get health insurance coverage thru a group health plan offered by your employer, and I bet you don’t pay more than a small amount via payroll deductions. Try getting health insurance without that sometime and regardless of how healthy you are, then see what it costs you. Or try to get it at all, if you have a preexisting condition such as diabetes which is often predisposed genetically. Of course that would require you to step down from your lofty, judgmental pinnacle.

 

Basic health insurance? What's that? Is that the type where business majors running HMO's get to tell you what treatments/medicines are applicable to what ails you, despite what doctors say?

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RE: Doug Company: What we've done for you lately.

 

why shouldn't our foreign aid have the requirement that the money be spent with US companies; that is standard practice by all countries.

just about all countries when they give aid to other countries require this. military aid, food aid, etc, is s really a jobs program for the giving country, why should this be different?

 

we do not give military aid to countries around the world so they can buy french equipment; our disaster and food relief is often given "in-kind" by a donation of our surplus food that the government has bought to prop up prices. this is the dirty little secret of why congress supports the billions of dollars in foreign aid we give every year: to benefit US companies and workers.

 

there are some exceptions; in iraq, contracts were limited to the countries that sent troops(remember the french complaining how their companies we excluded); some aid is given to hire local companies and workers but i am refering to the bulk of our aid.

 

could we get a bigger bang for our buck in giving medicine to africa to fight aids if we got it from a foreign company? yes, but the aid would probabally never get through congress. the question to ask about the aids drugs is the same as for all foreign aid: is it primarily to benefit our companies and workers or is it primarily to benefit people in foreign countries? perhaps a topic for a different thread. the US is not alone in this practice; german aid is usually required to be spent buying german, etc.

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Guest pressyourluck

>It is also not true that drug manufacturers make huge

>profits. Their return on investment runs about 6% per the Wall

>St Journal. Even the word "profit" is a bit misleading,

>because most profits are used to finance research and

>development of new drugs. I remember reading that Merck

>invested over a billion to develop its protease inhibiter for

>HIV, not including the later expense of building the plant and

>production facilities. Where did the billion come from?

 

Frontline did a excellent special on the pharmaceutical industry.

The website has a lot of information.

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/other/etc/faqs.html

 

How profitable is the pharmaceutical industry?

 

The pharmaceutical industry is one of the most profitable business sectors. In 2002, Fortune 500 drug companies made profits of 18.5 percent profit, while the median profitablity of all Fortune 500 companies was around 3 percent. The industry maintains that these high profits are needed to continue the very expensive, high risk development of new drugs.

 

I agree that the drug companies are doing a lot of theR&D work but the federal and state gov't i.e. NIH are doing a lot of the "early stage, leg work research." You and I pay for this and still, the US pays the highest prices for the drugs because the drug companies can charge it here.

I don't know what is a good balance but I do know that there are more lobbyists for the industry group PhRMA than there are Congress members. If capitalism is so important, why can't we consider the US gov't as a large customer and allow it to negotiate bulk pricing as any other large customer can do? Why can't seniors reimport drugs from Canada/Mexico? Why are the drug company spending BILLIONS of dollars on marketing and ads.

 

By the way, a small comment on antibotics as that was the impetus for the thread. The drug companies are moving away from research into antibiotics in favor of more lucrative "life style" drugs.

http://www.boston.com/business/articles/2004/03/13/firms_abandoning_antibiotics_research/

There is definitely more opportunities in chronic or lifestyle drugs than antibotics. Again, I don't want to the drug companies to go away, but I do believe there needs to be a balance.

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Guest Merlin

If the government negotiates the prices of drugs for medicare and medicare, veterans etc, it amounts to setting the price of the drugs, and once again will have the effect of discouraging or preventing research by limiting the funds available to the companies for that purpose. The government does negotiate the price of vaccines and it has driven companies out of the business, so that we occassionaly have shortages of vaccines. Importing the drugs back from Canada and Mexico, where prices are set by the government has the same effect of limiting the ability of companies to recover their investments. Companies invest in advertising in an attempt to sell more drugs, and this has the effect of making it possible to sell the drugs at a lower price. When more units of a new drug are sold, the cost of research is spread over more units and the price can be lower.

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RE:Hey, Doug! Taken any decongestants lately?

 

See this interesting article in the LA Times about your buddies in the pharmaceutical industry!

 

OVER-THE-COUNTER PERIL

A Dose of Denial

How drug makers sought to keep popular cold and diet remedies on store shelves after their own study linked them to strokes.

 

For more:

http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-ppa28mar28-1,1,2552623.htmlstory?coll=la-home-left1

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