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  1. #61

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    Quote Originally Posted by MattKing View Post
    It is true that in a purely profit based pharmaceutical research environment, one needs a whole bunch of profits to develop pharmaceuticals.

    The question is, is that the best environment for the purpose? It has had great successes, but I wonder how many other wonderful drugs and other treatments might have been developed if the market for them wasn't such an important determinator.

    And I wonder if the costs of developing drugs might be much lower if there wasn't so much potential profit to be made.
    Drug costs arent so high because of profits, it is because of costs. How much profit does a drug company make over their revenue? 10%? 12%? If drug companies are so damn profitable, why are they laying off hundreds of research chemists year after year?

    No the problem is because of COSTS. From wikipedia: Drug companies are like other companies in that they manufacture products that must be sold for a profit in order for the company to survive and grow. They are different from some companies because the drug business is very risky. For instance, only one out of every ten thousand discovered compounds actually becomes an approved drug for sale. Much expense is incurred in the early phases of development of compounds that will not become approved drugs.[6] In addition, it takes about 7 to 10 years and only 3 out of every 20 approved drugs bring in sufficient revenue to cover their developmental costs, and only 1 out of every 3 approved drugs generates enough money to cover the development costs of previous failures. This means that for a drug company to survive, it needs to discover a blockbuster (billion-dollar drug) every few years.[6]


    How do you fund that kind of risk?

  2. #62
    Steve Smith's Avatar
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    Just out of interest, on average, what are the monthly insurance premiums paid by an employee on around national average wage in the US?


    Steve.
    "People who say things won't work are a dime a dozen. People who figure out how to make things work are worth a fortune" - Dave Rat.

  3. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Smith View Post
    Just out of interest, on average, what are the monthly insurance premiums paid by an employee on around national average wage in the US?


    Steve.
    Generally, in the US, if you have health insurance, your employer pays for most of it. Individuals could not afford it on their own, so, as a consequence, if your employer does not provide health insurance, generally, you are un-insured.

  4. #64

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    Quote Originally Posted by RattyMouse View Post
    It is incredibly ignorant to say "I'm not sure that, as a whole, the country has seen much benefit from drugs developed with huge profit potential in mind."

    Amazingly ignorant.
    Oh goody, Fujimouse has yet another thread to his credit that bears resemblance to a soap box. Maybe it is time for me to sign out again for a few months....

  5. #65

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    Quote Originally Posted by PKM-25 View Post
    Oh goody, Fujimouse has yet another thread to his credit that bears resemblance to a soap box. Maybe it is time for me to sign out again for a few months....

    Really? Name calling? Is that what you have to resort to?

  6. #66
    Steve Smith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BradS View Post
    Generally, in the US, if you have health insurance, your employer pays for most of it. Individuals could not afford it on their own, so, as a consequence, if your employer does not provide health insurance, generally, you are un-insured.
    Thanks. Over here, an averagely paid employee will pay about £170 a month tax called National Insurance. This pays for healthcare, state pension and a few other benefits.

    The nice thing about it is that you are still fully covered even if you are not working. e.g. below working age, unemployed (or unable to work) or retired and there are no exemptions for pre-existing conditions which I hear about in the US system.

    Our system does have its faults, mostly due to bureaucracy, but we wouldn't want to be without it. From what I can tell, the German system is similar to ours but with less bureaucracy and shorter (if any) waiting times. I think the German system is what we would like ours to be.


    Steve.
    "People who say things won't work are a dime a dozen. People who figure out how to make things work are worth a fortune" - Dave Rat.

  7. #67

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    Quote Originally Posted by RattyMouse View Post
    First off, if you were unable to have sex, you'd be damn grateful for Viagra. You show incredible insensitivity towards people who suffer from that condition...
    I have virtually no concern for those with that "condition." In most such cases, proper preventive care (and avoidance of smoking, obesity, etc.) would have precluded underlying medical conditions that frequently cause impotence. Even if they didn't, homo sapiens will more than survive absent more babies fathered by Viagra's typical customers. The population is headed toward disaster even without them.

    Note that I take particular glee in using the proper term (impotence) rather than the pharmaceutical industry's made-up marketing phrase (erectile disfunction).

    Quote Originally Posted by RattyMouse View Post
    Second of all, countries like Canada drive up US prices because they pay lower costs...
    You continue to confuse the terms price and cost. They have different definitions.

    Quote Originally Posted by RattyMouse View Post
    ...Few industries are as risk intensive as drug design. For every drug that reaches commericalized status, 1,000 or more fail. The amount of money risked to produce a working drug that cures or mitigates a disease is enormous. Such risk should be rewarded no? Otherwise who would risk such money?...
    As posted previously, in my opinion funding (perhaps even conduct) of research toward drugs that cure or mitigate disease ought come from everyone, i.e. the US government. Then, the investors (US taxpayers) would be rewarded for risking that money by having resulting working drugs widely available at "generic" prices.

    I'd be happy to see research into and patent-protected production of drugs (like Viagra) that don't save lives or treat serious conditions remain in the private sector. I'd also like to see changes made to regulations so medical insurance is required not to pay for them.

    Quote Originally Posted by RattyMouse View Post
    The average drug design chemist see ONE of his drugs reach commercialization during his entire CAREER. I'm not in drug design, but I am a chemist with several colleagues in that industry. Close to 20 years of cancer research and he has yet to get a drug into the market. 20 years of work...Further, the amount of equipment needed to do drug design is enormous. A 50,000 dollar GC is a baby's toy compared to NMR spectrometers, X-Ray crystallography etc, that runs into the hundreds of thousands or millions...Drug companies have PHD's coming out of the wood work. They get the highest salary...
    All these observations support my position that such research ought be conducted by the US government, not a private, for-profit industry. No other approach can bring the required level of resources to bear with a greater potential to ensure that any resulting products will be available to the patients who need them.

    Quote Originally Posted by RattyMouse View Post
    ...Finally, drug companies over the past several years are laying off THOUSANDS of research chemists all over America. My friend over at (what used to be Abbott) is hanging on for his life right now. 20 years in cancer research and he has told me that he expects to be laid off at any moment now, the pressure on pharmaceutical companies is that intense now. He said if that comes to pass, his days of medicinal chemistry are over. There is no hope to get a job anywhere else in that field...
    Corporate greed does not respect PhD-level educations or potential good that those employees' work can do for patients. It's emblematic of another huge deficiency in our society, namely how Wall Street controls the government rather than vice versa. Many industries reaping huge profits, in an attempt to "make the numbers look better," are laying off people so Wall Street will be happy. The same obnoxious executive management and board of directors behavior so extensively complained about in other Kodak threads on APUG can be found in the large corporations of every industry. Big pharma is no exception.

    Quote Originally Posted by RattyMouse View Post
    ...At my former company, I worked next to a chemist, a lady who suffered from a very rare form of gastrointestinal cancer. This cancer is completely untreatable by chemotherapy or radiation. ONE year before she got this cancer, it would have been a death sentence. Her great luck was that GLEEVIK (not sure if I am spelling that right) came on the market before she developed this cancer. This drug keeps her alive, as long as she takes it. It took decades to develop a drug like this and the costs of that R & D must be recovered. The drug is amazingly expensive. I cant remember the price she told me, over $10,000 a month I'm sure. But it has kept her alive over 5 years. She got to see her kids graduate from college thanks to that drug...
    Such anecdotes are frequently related to justify the industry's cost structure. They play on emotions and, while undoubtedly true, highlight how "very rare" people who realize these benefits are.

    Quote Originally Posted by RattyMouse View Post
    ...You can be damn sure that the people who funded that research did so for a return. NIH funded work pays for some drug design work but never in its entirety. Private money must be used...
    There is no reason why private money must be used. My comments have addressed what I believe the US government should do, not what is currently does.

    Quote Originally Posted by RattyMouse View Post
    ...It is incredibly ignorant to say "I'm not sure that, as a whole, the country has seen much benefit from drugs developed with huge profit potential in mind."...
    You've again made my point. The "very rare" form of cancer is, by definition, one that affects only a small number of people. The country as a whole includes tens of millions of people who would benefit greatly be having access to less exotic drugs that are now out of reach.

    This comes down to a question of moral philosophy. Should a citizenry permit private, profit-driven corporations to control the situation and direct their efforts toward the bottom line, or step in and ensure that the largest number of people achieve excellent outcomes? It's not fun making that choice; your chemist friend might not have survived but perhaps thousands of others could have. Research into creating antibiotics to deal with drug-resistant mutant strains has been falling behind because the financial rewards aren't as great. Millions of people will be affected. Reality sucks, but it's real.

    Quote Originally Posted by RattyMouse View Post
    ...Amazingly ignorant.
    As usual, ad hominem attacks degrade only the attacker.

  8. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by BradS View Post
    Generally, in the US, if you have health insurance, your employer pays for most of it. Individuals could not afford it on their own, so, as a consequence, if your employer does not provide health insurance, generally, you are un-insured.
    Some do pick up their own. Mine costs about $1,000 per month for medical only. It does differ from State to State though so my own may not be totally representative.

  9. #69

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    Quote Originally Posted by PKM-25 View Post
    Oh goody, Fujimouse has yet another thread to his credit that bears resemblance to a soap box. Maybe it is time for me to sign out again for a few months....
    I agree. He should stay on the subject matter related to APUG.

    Also he said, " I work in Industrial lubricants for manufacturing. I get 10-15 products into the market per year."
    That is a pretty impossible output for someone who just a few days ago claimed they make a living from shooting film.

  10. #70
    Steve Smith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pioneer View Post
    Mine costs about $1,000 per month for medical only.
    Is that considered good value for money? It seems ridiculously high to me. It's more than my mortgage!


    Steve.
    "People who say things won't work are a dime a dozen. People who figure out how to make things work are worth a fortune" - Dave Rat.



 

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