vpkozel

Super Member
1,902
United States
NC
Charlotte
This strikes me as very odd. If this drug is as old as they say then the patent has long since expired and generics would be readily available for less. And the article never explains why generics aren't available.

It was like the famous line in The West Wing. The second pill costs 2 cents. The first one cost 2 billion dollars. There is no denying that the US is the research engine for the world when it comes to drugs. But - and this is a HUGE but - US companies have dramatically altered their business plans and now spend more money on advertising and marketing than on R&D. Part of the marketing also includes lobbying patent renewals to keep generics from being able to slash profit margins. And this is just plain wrong.

So, the bottom line is that if you want to blame capitalists, you need to blame the government just as much, because they control the patent system.
 

SG_67

Connoisseur
14,573
United States
Illinois
Chicago
This strikes me as very odd. If this drug is as old as they say then the patent has long since expired and generics would be readily available for less. And the article never explains why generics aren't available.

It was like the famous line in The West Wing. The second pill costs 2 cents. The first one cost 2 billion dollars. There is no denying that the US is the research engine for the world when it comes to drugs. But - and this is a HUGE but - US companies have dramatically altered their business plans and now spend more money on advertising and marketing than on R&D. Part of the marketing also includes lobbying patent renewals to keep generics from being able to slash profit margins. And this is just plain wrong.

So, the bottom line is that if you want to blame capitalists, you need to blame the government just as much, because they control the patent system.

The generic is not available because of such incredibly low demand for the drug. It's used to treat an obscure parasitic disease.

It's like this, you own a buggy whip company and lately there has been very, very low demand for your buggy whips. What do you do? Close up shop? Keep making the same number of buggy whips as you did before the downturn and charge the same hoping that things will turn around?

The reason no one is making a generic is because there's no market for it. Period! There's a reason why every once in a while when there's an uptick in influenza cases nationwide people panic and there's a shortage of vaccine.

It's because during the off years, no one gets the vaccine and there's very little market for it. So there is very little manufactured.
 

32rollandrock

Connoisseur
6,894
United States
illinois
springfield
Exactly the case.

We are living in a world where parasites disguised as investors search for an obscure, yet lifesaving, drug, then engage in price gouging. It is, quite literally, a case of your-money-or-your-life. It's happened, also, with a TB drug, although outrage quickly forced the gougers to back off:

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/22/business/big-price-increase-for-tb-drug-is-rescinded.html?ref=business&_r=0

True, there is incredibly low demand for these drugs. Equally true that dead is dead and broke is broke--it doesn't much matter whether your loved one succumbed to TB or parasites or cancer (although I would submit that I would be outraged if I had to declare bankruptcy to save my life while some investor/parasite who sold me the drugs laughed all the way to the bank). It is also true, I suspect, that we are all paying for this. I have health insurance. I would hope that my insurer would pay for these lifesaving drugs if I needed them. My premiums are well below the cost of these pills.

Finally, there's no getting around math. These drugs, obscure as they might be, were available and affordable and suddenly they were available but not affordable. No one benefited from this save a profiteer who did nothing to develop the drug or otherwise help anyone in any way.

The generic is not available because of such incredibly low demand for the drug. It's used to treat an obscure parasitic disease.

It's like this, you own a buggy whip company and lately there has been very, very low demand for your buggy whips. What do you do? Close up shop? Keep making the same number of buggy whips as you did before the downturn and charge the same hoping that things will turn around?

The reason no one is making a generic is because there's no market for it. Period! There's a reason why every once in a while when there's an uptick in influenza cases nationwide people panic and there's a shortage of vaccine.

It's because during the off years, no one gets the vaccine and there's very little market for it. So there is very little manufactured.
 

vpkozel

Super Member
1,902
United States
NC
Charlotte
But the blame doesn't lie with him. If alternatives are available cheap then no one will pay these exorbitant prices. If he has an exclusive market then that is the fault of the patent system. Which means that it is the government at fault.
 

SG_67

Connoisseur
14,573
United States
Illinois
Chicago
^ Tell you what, gather a group of investors from around the country and world, kick in your own cash and start a drug development lab in downstate Illinois to design, manufacture and distribute all manner of drugs for all manner of obscure diseases and only charge people what they can afford.

Let's see how long your company stays around. Good luck. I'll tell you what, when your drug reps start coming by my office offering me trips to Hawaii for an educational conference I'll be receptive. That will be my contribution to your success.
 

L-feld

Advanced Member
2,797
United States
Maryland
Baltimore
^ Tell you what, gather a group of investors from around the country and world, kick in your own cash and start a drug development lab in downstate Illinois to design, manufacture and distribute all manner of drugs for all manner of obscure diseases and only charge people what they can afford.

Let's see how long your company stays around. Good luck. I'll tell you what, when your drug reps start coming by my office offering me trips to Hawaii for an educational conference I'll be receptive. That will be my contribution to your success.
This seems more like a market failure than anything else. It sounds like this is not a patent issue, but rather that only a few manufacturers have the capacity to produce the drug and nobody else is willing to invest in manufacturing of the drug because the demand is sporadic.

The only rational actors who invest in the facility for manufacturing the drug are banking on a few large sales to make it worthwhile. This sort of market strategy is not an issue when we're talking about nonessential luxury items. Nobody dies if they can't afford a pair of hand welted shoes.

But it's a different story when it's literally a life or death matter. This is the prime area for some sort of social insurance to fix the market failure. A prudent solution would either be to have a small, nationalized facility to manufacture drugs that are inexpensive to produce, but due to market failure, require very high margins of sale in order to attract capital investment.

Alternately, single payer insurance could insure citizens against these sort of catastrophic situations and spread the risk amongst the populace in such a way that nobody really feels the cost too heavily.

It's ultimately cheaper to have some sort of nationalized fallback to nip outbreaks in the bud. As Ebola has shown us, it only takes one person without healthcare access to go and cause a national crisis.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 

eagle2250

Connoisseur/Curmudgeon Emeritus - Moderator
30,103
Harmony, FL
United States
Florida
Harmony
As has been demonstrated time and again, life is so much less stressful under communism.
While certainly not a fan of what many might consider pharmaceutical profiteering, I personally take more comfort in keeping the communists in my gun sights, rather than embracing their political ideology. Old habits are hard to break and perhaps should not be? LOL. ;)
 

32rollandrock

Connoisseur
6,894
United States
illinois
springfield
As has been demonstrated time and again, life is so much less stressful under communism.
Communists don't let people die for want of health insurance or money to pay for drugs, and so life for some is, in fact, much less stressful. In fact, life exists because of this approach.

And before we get all started on the merits of health care in America vs. the merits of health care behind the now-defunct Iron Curtain, please publicly reject your right to Medicare now and in the future. We wouldn't want any socialized medicine now, would we?
 
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