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GAROVORKIN

How Much Profit Do You Think Pharmaceutical Companies Are Entitled to?

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Posted (edited)

When it comes to the medications that they develop  They spend millions researching and developing and marketing  drugs to cure and combat diseases and yes ,Im well aware they don't do this out the goodness  of their now hearts .  This is  first and foremost a business which has to make profit in order to be worthwhile and in ordered to keep Research and Development  going for newer drugs and treatments.  Theres is the  incredible high costs the people are forced to pay for medications, with bring up the word gouging . These companies justify these  high prices  by saying that they do so to recover the costs of developing the medications.  And they hold on the patents for years delay generics which will cut into their profit and that is contributor to higher cost of drugs  and very probably health insurance costs too.   Do drug companies as business enterprises  have a right to earn profit ? and if so how much ? What do you think is fair and reasonable and what do you think is unfair and unreasonable ? 

 

 

Edited by GAROVORKIN

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Zero. There is no specific reason that they need to be for-profit enterprises, and a whole lot of reasons that incentivizing profit on drugs leads to, well, selling drugs people don't need. When your goal is profit, you tend to not care about things like health or success rates or societal values. 

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Personally I'd prefer if all companies related to health care were either explicitly non-profit or not-for-profit, or were part of a public field, ala Social Security.

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1 hour ago, Kalbear said:

Zero. There is no specific reason that they need to be for-profit enterprises, and a whole lot of reasons that incentivizing profit on drugs leads to, well, selling drugs people don't need. When your goal is profit, you tend to not care about things like health or success rates or societal values. 

I suspect  that if they did what you purpose , there would  likely be far fewer drugs and treatments for diseases.

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Posted (edited)
On 4/9/2018 at 1:21 PM, Paladin of Ice said:

Personally I'd prefer if all companies related to health care were either explicitly non-profit or not-for-profit, or were part of a public field, ala Social Security.

And how effective  do you think bureaucrats would be in determining  and getting  drugs into development ?

Edited by GAROVORKIN
typo

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Posted (edited)
25 minutes ago, GAROVORKIN said:

And how effective  do you think bureaucrats would be in determining  and get drugs into development ?

Probably more effective than corporate fat cats who spend significantly more on marketing than on R&D. Or pay themselves tens of millions of dollars each.

The idea that somehow corporate bureaucrat are so much better than government ones, or, gods forbid, a general cooperative has always puzzled me.

Also note, my previous post is an ideal world dream, which I realize is almost certain not to happen, but I'd love to less less corporate greed in the health care world and more of a spirit of emphasizing the public good.

Edited by Paladin of Ice

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There is no need for there to a profit motive in the broader sphere of healthcare. It makes everything cost significantly more than it should, and worse, incentivizes corporations to pursue treatments that don’t look for quick and complete cures. The route would be to have the government fund R&D with strong public oversight.   

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We should encourage their profit-seeking / rent-seeking enterprises -- the only consequences are those of a glorious, beautiful free market. Learn to love the invisible hand and the gentle head pats that it gives us.

https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2018/02/13/585402385/doctors-in-maine-say-halt-in-oxycontin-marketing-comes-20-years-late

Quote

The maker of OxyContin, one of the most prescribed and aggressively marketed opioid painkillers, will no longer tout the drug or any other opioids to doctors.

The announcement, made Saturday, came as drugmaker Purdue Pharma faces lawsuits for deceptive marketing brought by cities and counties across the U.S., including several in Maine. The company said it's cutting its U.S. sales force by more than half.

Just how important are these steps against the backdrop of a raging opioid epidemic that took the lives of more than 300 Maine residents in 2016, and accounted for more than 42,000 deaths nationwide?

"They're 20 years late to the game," says Dr. Noah Nesin, a family physician and vice president of medical affairs at Penobscot Community Health Care.

Nesin says even after Purdue Pharma paid $600 million in fines about a decade ago for misleading doctors and regulators about the risks opioids posed for addiction and abuse, it continued marketing them.

"I think it's similar to the tobacco industry learning they could sell tobacco without spending a lot of money on advertising. My guess is this decision is in their self-interest," he says.

A nationwide lawsuit against Purdue Pharma for deceptive marketing continues to grow. Seven cities in Maine have joined, including Portland, Lewiston and Bangor, along with five counties, to recoup some of the costs of addressing the addiction crisis.

 

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Posted (edited)
50 minutes ago, GAROVORKIN said:

I suspect  that if they did what you purpose , there would  likely be far fewer drugs and treatments for diseases.

48 minutes ago, GAROVORKIN said:

And how effective  do you think bureaucrats would be in determining  and get drugs into development ?

As far as I know, there's absolutely zero reason to think large for-profit corporations are any better at developing new drugs and new treatments than publicly subsidized laboratories. Similarly, in countries where the state has a say on the production (and price) of drugs (in Europe), the system works very well. Quantitatively speaking, socialism and its moderate versions work.

Conversely, it is known that corporate greed affects the quality of treatments.

Finally, there's the fact that the insane margins made by big pharma on drugs are a relatively new phenomenon. All things considered, throughout history, research (whether for-profit or not) has been made without the need to make millions/billions.

In a nutshell: the idea that greed is good is the extraordinary statement that should be supported by facts and arguments.

Edited by Rippounet

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Posted (edited)
9 minutes ago, Rippounet said:

As far as I know, there's absolutely zero reason to think large for-profit corporations are any better at developing new drugs and new treatments than publicy subsidized laboratories. Similarly, in countries where the state has a say on the production (and price) of drugs (in Europe), the system works very well. Quantitatively speaking, socialism and its moderate versions work.

Conversely, it is known that corporate greed affects the quality of treatments.

Finally, there's the fact that the insane margins made by big pharma on drugs are a relatively new phenomenon. All things considered, throughout history, research (whether for-profit or not) has been made without the need to make millions/billions.

In a nutshell: the idea that greed is good is the extraordinary statement that should be supported by facts and arguments.

Hypothetical question , suppose some researcher  comes up with a universal cure for cancer.  Its 100 percent safe and effective. Given ther potential PR fallout do you think company its right mind would suppress such discovery?

Edited by GAROVORKIN

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Posted (edited)
16 minutes ago, Week said:

We should encourage their profit-seeking / rent-seeking enterprises -- the only consequences are those of a glorious, beautiful free market. Learn to love the invisible hand and the gentle head pats that it gives us.

https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2018/02/13/585402385/doctors-in-maine-say-halt-in-oxycontin-marketing-comes-20-years-late

 

Fines are simply not enough.  Perdue Pharma should have been put out business for what they did and those in charge should have faced criminal prosecution .  

As for the Tobacco Industry , why are they still allowed to be in business ?

Edited by GAROVORKIN

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1 hour ago, GAROVORKIN said:

I suspect  that if they did what you purpose , there would  likely be far fewer drugs and treatments for diseases.

That might be. At the same time the number of people with access to drugs they need would be significantly larger, and more lives would be saved as a rule. We know that because we've seen that in other areas where the government strictly controls what is allowed as a cost for medicines and procedures, and the result is more effective, more used healthcare.

 

23 minutes ago, GAROVORKIN said:

Hypothetical question , suppose some researcher  comes up with a universal cure for cancer.  Its 100 percent safe and effective. Given ther potential PR fallout do you think company its right mind would suppress such discovery?

Companies aren't in the habit of looking for cancer cures, as a matter of fact; non-profit organizations and research facilities do that. The reason is obvious: there's no profit in curing cancer, so they don't even bother trying

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2 hours ago, Kalbear said:

Zero. There is no specific reason that they need to be for-profit enterprises, and a whole lot of reasons that incentivizing profit on drugs leads to, well, selling drugs people don't need. When your goal is profit, you tend to not care about things like health or success rates or societal values. 

This appears to be a very US-centric view. A number of the largest pharma companies are British. Here, they are not allowed to sell drugs to the NHS without approval on efficacy and cost by the independent National Institute for Health Care and Excellence, and advertising prescription drugs is illegal. Of course, the purchasing power of the NHS also keeps prices down.

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34 minutes ago, GAROVORKIN said:

Fines are simply not enough.  Perdue Pharma should have been put out business for what they did and those in charge should have faced criminal prosecution .  

As for the Tobacco Industry , why are they still allowed to be in business ?

When a cure was found for ulcers drug companies fought against that cure tooth and nail:

http://discovermagazine.com/2010/mar/07-dr-drank-broth-gave-ulcer-solved-medical-mystery

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Posted (edited)
47 minutes ago, GAROVORKIN said:

Hypothetical question , suppose some researcher  comes up with a universal cure for cancer.  Its 100 percent safe and effective. Given ther potential PR fallout do you think company its right mind would suppress such discovery?

well let us look at history. In general, in the united states the kind of medical advance you describe has been treated very Jacksonianly, as unenforced by the courts or system of law.

Take a look at a universal medical advance: general anesthesia, which has many many medical uses, such as allowing time for safer and more intricate surgeries. 

Magnificent public outcry, and enormous opposition from medical professionals prevented the monetization of the patent on ether, and the courts around the world refused to grant the patent or enforce it if it were patented.

Or let's say, what about self-replicating cell lines?  HeLa cells or other replicating cell lines are one of the most important components of drug research, literally we would have no multi billion dollar modern drug industries without them.  Yet they are built off an individual's unique DNA, and again the supreme court has ruled that in the interests of humanity, no one can patent or copyright these vital tools.

(of course that is partially because the first HeLa cell line came from a black woman, and we all know such folk don't enjoy equal protection of the law, but the courts even denied a white man in the 90s who also generated a replicating cell line from profitting from his DNA).

Edited by lokisnow

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55 minutes ago, Hereward said:

This appears to be a very US-centric view. A number of the largest pharma companies are British. Here, they are not allowed to sell drugs to the NHS without approval on efficacy and cost by the independent National Institute for Health Care and Excellence, and advertising prescription drugs is illegal. Of course, the purchasing power of the NHS also keeps prices down.

There's still no specific reason that the drug manufacturers need to be for-profit, and a whole lot of reasons to ensure that they aren't. The UK does a system that effectively limits the profit incentive (or at least one of the more dangerous ones) to that company, so they're incentivized to either not make the drug if it isn't profitable or make it as cheaply as possible - but the former is a problem. 

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6 minutes ago, Kalbear said:

There's still no specific reason that the drug manufacturers need to be for-profit, and a whole lot of reasons to ensure that they aren't. The UK does a system that effectively limits the profit incentive (or at least one of the more dangerous ones) to that company, so they're incentivized to either not make the drug if it isn't profitable or make it as cheaply as possible - but the former is a problem. 

In theory, if the drug's useful, it'll be profitable, because the NHS will pay for it. Although there have been a few newspaper campaigns (via drug company PR) for drugs of questionable value to be available on the NHS, which is a bit of a problem, but not a huge one.

The reason for the companies to be private will be efficiency. While i'm a bit of a lefty and against privatisation of essential needs in general, companies making drugs as cheaply as possible is the entire point, and there is plenty of reason to believe that drug companies with a profit motive are less likely to become bloated and inefficient.

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Profitable and non-profit companies don't really tend to distinguish between efficiency. Nonprofit does not mean government-owned.

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, Kalbear said:

Zero. There is no specific reason that they need to be for-profit enterprises, and a whole lot of reasons that incentivizing profit on drugs leads to, well, selling drugs people don't need. When your goal is profit, you tend to not care about things like health or success rates or societal values. 

Yup.  

It's not like the people actually coming up with these drugs and doing the research are the ones making the profit.  They're just salaried employees that maybe get a bonus for working on Viagra or Adderall.  

Why couldn't a nonprofit or not for profit do the same thing?  

I don't understand where the assumption that a for profit company is going to have so much more drive to come up with effective drugs that treat illnesses.  Right now for big pharma in the US that seems like a secondary priority after the share holder's stock value.  I mean a CEO is probably actually legally compelled to direct Phizer in the best interests of the shareholders, not the best interests of public health.

 

 

Edited by larrytheimp
Autocorrect catastrophe

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