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I don't want my thoughts to be treated as proporty.
Quote: green_titan said: Devils advocate...
Drug companies hold intellectual property rights for 10 years, after which generics can be created. These 10 years allow the company to recoup the huge R&D costs (development, years of testing and trials, other pipeline costs), after which the drug is available for much cheaper. If there weren't these laws, the companies would make a huge loss after they created the drugs, thus giving them disincentive to create them in the first place.
Intellectual property laws : Drugs are created, everybody can afford after 10 years. No intellectual property : no drugs created, nobody gets them..ever.
Some individuals forgo their patents, however, such as the discoverer of the polio vaccine, thus allowing the UN to almost eradicate it from the planet. For them this is the difference of being a billionaire and living humbly, but companies cannot afford to do this - most of the "easy" viruses have been figured out, yet there are plenty more which will take years of research.
On a different tangent, a good book discussing gene patents and their slippery slope implications is "Next" by Michael Chrichton, which I am selling in the marketplace Did you know you have more rights over a photograph of yourself than a gene removed from your DNA?
That is not true. And it looks just like the text that finds it's way in colleges and textbooks from BigPharma's top site. Those companies spend much more money on advertising than research and development. And the R&D is focused on receiving profits. If they can make an analogue to prozac that is no better but earns a new patent and puts you further in financial distress, they'll do it. They have been doing it for years and they are not slowing down.
Look at the timeline of how antibiotics were formulated. There is a big lapse of new and effective antibiotics because BigPharma was too busy putting their research into disease mongering and convincing the public that you need one of their pain, insomnia, or antidepressant prescriptions.
It is a shame to assume that no human wouldn't complete a task because they aren't getting the maximum profit out of it. A lot of healthcare workers have a sense of pride and selflessness. And even more insulting is that most of the profit will wind up in the hands of shareholders that don't work anyway.
If anything, intellectual rights are preventing people from receiving treatment. Look at how the WTO will stick it to any mass of people that would give out "patented" drugs to patients dying of AIDS. Health is not in their interest. You being sick and handing over your money is in their interest.
If it's not true, its only partly not true. New antibiotics haven't been found in years because there are only so many broad-spectrum targets with bacteria, and thus only so many drugs - most of which have been found already. Thats why resistant bacteria are tough. The early years of drug discovery were filled with discoveries, but now there are only so many left (with regards to bacteria anyway). It's kind of like archaeology - how many ancient temples have been discovered recently, compared to earlier times?
Also, think of a disease like Alzheimer's. After many years of research, a stable target for drugs has not been identified. This is because the mechanism by which it works is not fully understood in the first place, and its not as simple as "apply penicillin to interfere with cell wall synthesis".
To cure a disease...
-researchers must find out how the organism/disease works, and identify targets for a drug to act. For many diseases this is not yet understood.
-If a target is identified, compounds are searched which have an effect on the target
-These compounds are then altered to see what it is about them that has effects on the target, and possible compounds which work the best.
-Of these compounds, they are screened to see if they are "possible" from a chemical standpoint (i.e. not overly toxic to humans/carcinogenic/can pass appropriate biological membranes/can reach the target in the first place etc.)
-These compounds are then assayed using various enzymes, and screened further.
-If these screenings are passed, they go into animal testing stage
-If these tests pass, they go into human trials (multiple years)
-After approval, facilities are built to put the drug into production
If any of the steps above fail, then it is back to square one.
This is costly - MUCH more costly than advertising and marketing. The money has to come from somewhere. Part of it comes from the profits of other drugs. The drug researchers also have to invest a lot in their education to gain the knowledge to research drugs in the first place, so you can't expect them to go to college and grad school and expect them to work for $5 an hour.
Is there corruption and overly aggressive marketing in this system? Yes. Do they make more profits than they "should"? possibly. But is it even possible to discover drugs without funding, and not recoup profits? Is it possible that generic drugs are cheaper because they are copying something, and don't incur the costs associated with developing it and putting it on the market?
You only list a standard procedures for a drug. But any company can use an expedited approach. Some have even lied about their results in the name of profit. The black box warnings show us that they are no different than a reckless RC dealer that is after a quick buck.
Selfless research work is allowed to operate at a University, as it should, Universal knowledge for the benefit of all. But if anything comes of it, the pharmaceutical company will attempt to buy the rights, or make the chemist dependent on them to function on any level.
And what you said about antibiotics is still not true. Fact is, antibiotics are used by a small population and for acute infections. Making analogues to existing antibiotics might have saved countless people. If the pathogens mutate, as they always have, it would make sense to stay one step ahead. That is why there is a large generational gap in the drugs. Only when there was an urgent demand that resulted in some sort of pay-off, did new drugs come to the market.
I don't know about if all chemists are in it for the money. I don't like it when people are sick and I'd rather absorb and share the expense of restoring health rather than taking the approach of taking a sick person and wondering how I could make a living off it.
Pharma has hurt everyone in this country. Since they have the money to shower our MDs with nice gifts and vacations, they have convinced our healthcare providers to spend more money and limit the healthcare we provide. Even if you take good care of yourself, you are punished with wasteful prescription costs of others around you. And past a certain age, there is no motivation to avoid costly lifestyle and medical treatment. Big Pharma actually spends money to discourage people from receiving treatment if they are not going to directly benefit from it. They discourage the use of plants because they don't have the patent for. Why else would there be some absurd drug like Marinol? They also lobby the DEA to limit drugs that are demonstrated as safe from outside of their trade union. Once again, them fighting the treatment.
An MD with a patient on medicare is likely to prescribe the most expensive medications and in turn we all have to absorb the cost. Look at other countries: they ALL spend much less than we do on healthcare, and they do not limit their treatment. People live longer and better in other countries. And they aren't put into a lifetime of struggling debt when they become ill.
I'm not saying you promote a system that cannot work. I just don't think it works when it is run as a greedy inhumane business.
Anything you say has already been said before. Anything you write has already been written. Anything you think was already thought somewhere in the expanse of the pandimensional multiverse. All thoughts came from a collective consciousness.
Intellectual Property is as outdated as Freudian Psychology.
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