Pharmaceutical companies and their bullshit excuses

Discussion in 'Health and Lifestyle' started by 777, Apr 6, 2008.

  1. 777
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    777 Member

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    Just a few points to expose the myth of US pharmaceuticals having to jack up the prices of medicines for all of us because of research costs, for instance.

    Many of the anti-retroviral drugs used to treat HIV and AIDS today stem from the government-funded cancer drug research of the 1980s. The rights to government-created innovations were sold to pharmaceutical companies at low prices … guaranteeing companies like Bristol-Myers Squibb huge returns on investment. Since your tax money is paying for some of the pharmaceutical research, should you not benefit from it by being able to buy medicines cheaper?

    Some of the plants patented for their medicinal purposes do not even belong to the rich countries where most of the big pharmaceutical companies are based; they come from the developing world, where they have been used for centuries, but patented without their knowledge. Much of the knowledge of the use of plants for medical purposes resides with indigenous peoples and local communities. Scientists and companies from developed countries have been charged with biopiracy when they appropriate the plants or their compounds from the forests as well as the traditional knowledge of the community healers, since patents are often applied for the materials and the knowledge.

    The big pharmaceutical companies have attempted to block poorer countries’ attempts to deal with various health crises. A vivid case is that of South Africa and cheaper generic drugs. The huge pharmaceutical association threatened South Africa with trade sanctions for trying to develop cheaper, generic drugs to combat AIDS. They claimed that World Trade Organization (WTO) rules regarding patents and intellectual property were being violated.

    When CIPLA, one of India’s leading generics companies, offered a cocktail of anti-retroviral drugs for AIDS at $350 a year, compared to $10,000 from the multinational companies, this sent a shockwave in two ways. Poor countries realized they might have more affordable means to deal with a massive health crisis that afflicts them the most; and the large multinationals saw their monopoly prices severely threatened, and, exposed.

    Poorest countries have no pharmaceutical industries and depend on countries with generic drugs industry, especially India. Now that India has agreed to follow the TRIPs agreement, exporting generic treatments has become illegal.

    Ironically, India’s new patent laws now enable pharmaceutical companies to test drugs on India’s poor by using India’s cheaper, but highly skilled workforce to conduct drugs trials there, rather than in industrialized countries, thus saving significantly on the costs.

    Big pharma generally defends high prices for new drugs … to cover costs for researching and developing new drugs. But in fact, most new drugs launched are just slight variations of existing medicines, such as eight drugs in development at the moment for erectile dysfuction.

    In Africa, the documentary "Dying for Drugs" showed how one of the world’s biggest drug companies experimented on children without their parents’ knowledge or consent.

    And so goes the story ...

    http://www.globalissues.org/health/overview/#Millionsdieeachyearneedlessly
     
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  2. bennylava
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    bennylava Member

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    Thanks for posting this. This issue is one of my pet peeves politically. They spend so much money on advertising and bribing doctors and giving them kickbacks. Their profits are insane. There is NO way that a regular dose of a medicine costs $4 generic and $100.00 with the brandname.
    Not to mention, a lot of their R and D centers around making slightly different versions of their drugs that are about to generic. For example, when Paxil went generic they came out with Paxil CR, which was supposed to be "controlled release" and slowly release through the digestive system throughout the day. Then they spent a ton of money on advertising and "educating" doctors via pharmaceutical reps (who are always young and good looking, by the way) and giving doctors perks for convincing their patients to change over.
     
  3. William Joyce
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    William Joyce Chemotherapy for PC

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    What is stopping you from establishing the Bleeding Heart Drug Company, dedicated to researching, developing, and giving away AIDS drugs for free?
     
  4. Paulie
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    Paulie Platinum Member

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    The Dept. of Health and Human Services.
     
  5. RetiredGySgt
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    RetiredGySgt Platinum Member

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    I doubt that. The Government neither sets prices nor forces prices on any drug company. All he has to do is follow the legal requirements and he can set up his own drug company and go as broke as he wants selling drugs for less then they cost to make or research.
     
  6. Paulie
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    Paulie Platinum Member

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    I guess you missed the point. I'm sure Joyce didn't, though.

    I'll give you a hint: regulation
     
  7. RetiredGySgt
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    RetiredGySgt Platinum Member

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    Regulations do not force prices to be high. Regulations require safety and are supposed to ensure safe drugs get on the market, that COSTS money to research and even then they get some not so great ones or some lawyer convinces a Jury it is not safe. Costing even MORE money.

    Once again, he wants to give away drugs below cost? Make a business and do so. The Government will not prevent him from doing so if he only sells his OWN drugs or those past the date of going generic.

    You haven't a point.
     
  8. Paulie
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    Paulie Platinum Member

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    How does creating a company, and selling drugs cheap until you're broke help THIS situation?

    Sure, you can do that, but when you go out of business the mega-corps are back on top again.

    The point about regulations is not price-setting. I never said that, you ASSUMED that's what I meant.

    Most people have the wrong idea about regulation. They think regs hinder big business, when in actuality they BENEFIT the big mega corps by setting standards that a fledgling pharmaceutical company wanting to sell drugs for cheap simply can not abide by and remain in business.

    Big business lobbies for, and often WRITES, the regulations that are in place. Without those regulations, there could be thousands of small pharma campanies, for example, selling drugs at reasonable prices.

    This is the argument for a TRUELY free market, devoid of those regulations. While there are obviously some regs that benefit the country, most only serve to keep the competition centralized within a small market.
     
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2008
  9. RetiredGySgt
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    Yes lets deregulate the creation and manufacture, sale and dispersement of drugs. That should help a ton. Get rid of all those pesky rules for testing too. Drugs will flow much cheaper then. Of course lawyers will have field day against the Government and the bad medicine that gets put on the market.

    READ what you just wrote you and actually think about what you are claiming would be a good idea.

    As for why? He said he wanted to other companies do exactly that. Sell at a losing price and fail to recupe costs for research. That leads to no more research.
     
  10. Paulie
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    Paulie Platinum Member

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    I said that some of the regs are good for the country. Most though, only serve to keep the small man out of the picture. That is the inevitable fact. There will always only be a few huge pharma corps running the show, setting whatever prices they want as long as the regulations they lobbied for are in place. What would you rather have, lower prices or stricter standards? You have to make the decision, but don't bitch about the one you lose out on.

    I like how you argue against the government regulating commerce, but you advocate for them regulating pharmaceutical companies.

    Either they have the constitutional right to regulate, or they don't. Which is it, RGS?
     

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