The Stats About Pharmaceutical Companies

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    16 Responses to The Stats About Pharmaceutical Companies

    1. You know, these companies aren’t overflowing at the brim with excess cash, else there’d be substantial economic devastation. It all has to be going somewhere.


    2. In Australia, it’s illegal to advertise prescription medicine, and there’s a generic brand of just about everything. We also have a government funded “Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme” which makes prescription medicines much cheaper. Almost no-one would skip doses to save money here, as long as it’s been properly prescribed, it’s cheap enough to use right.


    3. Weissman’s work could have “potentially” cured ***Type I Diabetes***. Every single one of the billions of pharmaceuticals in their infancy could “potentially” do something really goddamn impressive, but they oftentimes don’t. If it was really diabetes panacea someone in Europe (with state-funded care that needs to drastically cut costs) would have picked it up.


    4. The markup prices are complete bollocks; patents are there to be able to recoup Research and Development costs then a small profit. Production costs are very low, but research costs are sky high (10 years required for clinical trials, all the chemical researchers, physicians and test subjects in that time, etc.).

      Like France, in the US, some people will get offensive if they’re not given drugs after seeing the doctor – so the doctors are only too willing to use any health insurance you have for drugs for minor ailments. If they didn’t, they get rap from their bosses for not making any money, and a bad tone from the patient who claims that nothing’s been done, because he/she didn’t get any pills (who then complains about the cost of the pills).

      Cheaper alternatives inside the patent term are minor chemical modifications, and are often perfectly viable as there are certain chemical structures you can modify to minimal effect. Outside the patent, the cheaper alternatives often revert to the patent chemical design, depending on how their product is selling.

      If in doubt, go back to school and become a doctor or pharmacologist. Srsly – get off your fat arse and do something.


    5. I never thought pharmaceutical companies were evil until they created a drug that lets old people fuck. That’s just gross.


    6. The Weissman thing at the bottom doesn’t sound right. He had a mouse model where he could cure type 1 diabetes with adult stem cells and he went to pharma for money? You don’t do that. Its the wrong place to ask for money for non drug research. You send that kind of grant to the NIH or something like that. They might have been afraid to touch it because it said stem cells, but thats a different story. Some friends in evolution research talk about having to leave out certain words from their grant apps to keep fundies from getting their congresscritters from fucking with the budgets of entire government agencies or major universities. So you learn to play the game. Maybe Weissman never figured that out.

      As for the cancer part, he found some things that could lead to treatments, but aren’t there yet, and certainly weren’t there years ago. He is ahead of his time, but the way the claim is being made, it reads like he had treatments ready to study in humans for one specific type of leukemia (not all of them) and breast cancer. That just isn’t right, and I don’t think he would agree with the wording.

      I really seriously doubt that he went to pharma to request money for this. This is pretty standard NIH R01 grant stuff. If he didn’t get that funding, its a crime, but I’ve seen good grants refused for bad reasons before. One absolutely brilliant one got refused because one of the reviewers said that the premise was wrong based on what he learned in medical school 30 years ago, which had since then been shown to be wrong. There just isn’t enough money around for all the researchers that are out there, and even the best lose out every now and then.
      Another problem with this. One of our research group’s drugs got bought for study, and it was later dropped for a slightly more potent competitor that you could take orally instead of by injection. Those minor changes in me too drugs? Sometimes they can have huge effects. The difference? A carbon here, an alcohol group there, and the chance to be a third generation cancer drug. Fucking French bastards and their slightly better compound.


    7. This graphic is stupid and one sided. While there are many things wrong with it I will just point out one. How is comparing the selling price to the cost of the active pharmaceutical ingredient relevant in any way? Has anyone ever taken just the API? No, because it’s not possible. Pills and packaging cost way more money then the API does. Even so, it still makes up only a small portion of the selling price, because pharma companies have to not only make up the RD cost of the drugs that make it, they also have to make up the costs of al the other drugs they researched and turned into nothing


    8. We all know that cures are banished to create treatments.
      I’ll never forget the researchers that were working on cancer and used HPV cells. They released a report that announced a very promising anti cancer treatment, since the HPV cells were completely nullified. only THEN did they realize their mistake in announcing that the most common STD had a cure. Three years later we have no treatment yet, but we have a prevention shot. nice.


    9. I know it’s fun to hate on big business, but this infographic is just plain full of shit and biased in a way that shows that the author doesn’t know anything about how drug companies do research.

      Also, behind every prescription drug purchase is an experienced doctor, so why isn’t this about how doctors are soooo evil. Oh yeah, because they aren’t.

      Tough competition in the marketplace can be cause for some abuses, but if you don’t like the way drug companies behave in USA, then blame the corrupt federal government for allowing them to be like that.


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