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Discussion Doctor who had to amputate someone's leg when they were forced to choose between insulin and rent tells truth about Pharma bribes

Indus

Diamond Member
May 11, 2002
6,729
2,247
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https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/healthcare-us-pharmaceutical-companies-pharma-insurance-doctors-a8922491.html

From the article:

"Every year, American taxpayers spend more than $39bn through the National Institutes of Health to fund medical research to discover new lifesaving treatments and drugs. American patients risk their health and sometimes even jeopardize their lives to test whether these new drugs are safe and effective during clinical trials.

When the time comes to reap the benefits, however, Americans pay much higher prices for the same drugs that patients within universal healthcare systems overseas can obtain at much lower cost. This is in spite of the fact that Americans sacrifice so much more to help bring these drugs to market. Much of it is because big pharmaceutical companies exploit both the private American health care system and our patent laws to perpetuate an injustice on the American people.

Take for example the California-based pharmaceutical company Gilead Sciences, which markets the drug Truvada, a formulation of two antiretroviral medications tenofovir and emtricitabine that inhibit the HIV virus' ability to hijack our cells and replicate. Truvada is so effective at pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) to prevent HIV infection that it is included in the World Health Organization’s List of Essential Medicines as an absolutely critical part of any basic healthcare system.
While the generic version of Truvada is available in many countries outside the United States for around $840 annually per patient, Gilead uses its patent on the drug to charge Americans close to around $24,000 annually per patient. That’s for the exact fixed dose combination of tenofovir and emtricitabine that costs around $60 annually per patient to produce.

Unfortunately the healthcare consequences of this are severe. According to the CDC, around one million patients are at high risk of contracting HIV in the US — but only 160,000 patients are taking Truvada because of its high cost. With correct daily use, Truvada is 99 per cent effective, yet over 40,000 people are infected with HIV in America every year. If generic Truvada were available and all 40,000 patients were on it before being infected, the number of people would be closer to around 400. Endemic spread of HIV in the US could then be drastically reduced — or even eliminated.

What's infuriating is that American taxpayers funded much of the research and development for Truvada. So much, in fact, that according to the Yale Global Health Justice Partnership it's the CDC that actually owns the patent for the drug. So Gilead has basically been making $3bn a year selling a drug that actually belongs to Americans themselves.

And that’s not all. Gilead recently partnered with Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar and President Donald Trump to roll out a public relations scheme to fool the public. During this, Gilead declared that it would be donating enough Truvada to treat 200,000 patients each year until 2030. While it sounds great on the surface, that basically means it will donate around $12m a year while making billions in profits and getting a tax break.

I am not surprised that Alex Azar would promote such a deal in favor of big pharmaceutical companies at the expense of vulnerable patients. After all, before Azar joined the Trump administration he was the vice president of Eli Lilly, where Novo Nordisk and Sanofi — two other big pharmaceutical companies — more than tripled the price of insulin.

Just like Truvada, insulin is on the WHO List of Essential Medicines, yet there is no effective generic available in the United States. Due to a loophole in patent law called “evergreening", big pharmaceutial companies like Eli Lilly, Novo Nordisk, and Sanofi make incremental improvements to the same basic insulin that Charles Best and Frederick Banting discovered in 1921. While Best and Banting sold their patent for $1 in the hopes that they could help save as many lives as possible, pharmaceutical companies have since increased the price of insulin so high through evergreening that many patients resort to rationing their insulin just to survive.

I will never forget the first time I had to amputate a patient's leg because of poorly controlled diabetes. It was my intern year as a surgical resident and the man came into the clinic with a foul-smelling open wound on the heel of his foot that probed down to the bone and extended up his ankle. After we prepped and draped him in the operating room and marked out our incision, I couldn't believe that I was cutting through all his arteries, bones, nerves, and muscle and removing his leg just to save his life because he had had to choose between food, shelter, and his insulin. We're the richest, most technologically advanced nation in the world and we can't provide the most basic care for our own people.

It is time for us Americans to realize that our lack of a universal healthcare system makes us vulnerable to pharmaceutical companies who, to my mind, take our taxpayer-funded research, use our bodies for clinical trials, and sell us back the drugs we helped develop at exorbitant prices just because we don't have the combined purchasing and negotiating power that people in other countries with universal healthcare systems enjoy. From insulin to Truvada to almost every single essential medication on the WHO list, we often literally pay with an arm or a leg — or even with our lives."


Enlightening to say the least. Sucks that we end up getting shafted.
 
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DarthKyrie

Golden Member
Jul 11, 2016
1,385
1,035
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Those CEO's and other Exec's need to make their millions somehow, they worked hard to turn the patents owned by the people into actual medication. What's the lives of a few thousand people compared to the needs of the greedy fucks at the tops of these companies they only have enough money to last them 5 or 6 generations.
 

ivwshane

Lifer
May 15, 2000
28,661
8,794
136
We must do everything we can to make sure such a system is maintained! Money over people, profits over people, capitalism over people, and corporations over people. That's the American dream. To do otherwise means someone isn't profiting and that's just wrong.

I want less government regulations and larger corporate profits because...reasons.

Bootstraps or bust!
 

TheVrolok

Lifer
Dec 11, 2000
23,397
2,666
136
We must do everything we can to make sure such a system is maintained! Money over people, profits over people, capitalism over people, and corporations over people. That's the American dream. To do otherwise means someone isn't profiting and that's just wrong.

I want less government regulations and larger corporate profits because...reasons.

Bootstraps or bust!
If people want to be treated better by Pharma, they'll vote with their wallets! The market will decide! Stupid socialist!

.. well, unless of course they're dead.
 

Fenixgoon

Lifer
Jun 30, 2003
27,672
2,696
126
c'mon, its not like those patients are increasing shareholder value. they're too poor to buy the drugs that make CEOs rich!
/s but not exactly. more of a sad truth about how much of america works
 
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Paratus

Lifer
Jun 4, 2004
14,554
7,656
146
We must do everything we can to make sure such a system is maintained! Money over people, profits over people, capitalism over people, and corporations over people. That's the American dream. To do otherwise means someone isn't profiting and that's just wrong.

I want less government regulations and larger corporate profits because...reasons.

Bootstraps or bust!
I dream of world where if I don’t want to work for subsistence level wages for the controlling world dominating global multinational corporation I can start my own competing world dominating global multinational corporation free from government interference.

It’s the only way to be free
 
Nov 25, 2013
32,083
11,714
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speaking of insulin

‘This is a solvable issue’: Pricey insulin has Americans trekking to Canada in ‘caravans’

"One insulin user from Minnesota, Quinn Nystrom, documented her five-hour trek for insulin on Twitter.

Nystrom said that she bought a nearly identical product — one vial of insulin from Novo Nordisk — that cost US$320 in the U.S. and $30 in Canada.

“Where have we gone wrong America?!?” she tweeted."

https://globalnews.ca/news/5249662/americans-driving-canada-insulin-prices/
 

Greenman

Lifer
Oct 15, 1999
16,952
2,348
126
It's a little sad that all of the responses are partisan bullshit. I get it, it's nice to sit on your high horse and look down on the unwashed masses, perhaps even point a trembling finger at their stupidity, but at the end of the day it's the same answer as everyone else has, an empty shrug.
 

rommelrommel

Platinum Member
Dec 7, 2002
2,763
360
136
It's a little sad that all of the responses are partisan bullshit. I get it, it's nice to sit on your high horse and look down on the unwashed masses, perhaps even point a trembling finger at their stupidity, but at the end of the day it's the same answer as everyone else has, an empty shrug.
It’s almost as if you’ve chosen to be retarded.
 

ch33zw1z

Lifer
Nov 4, 2004
32,026
10,809
146
It's a little sad that all of the responses are partisan bullshit. I get it, it's nice to sit on your high horse and look down on the unwashed masses, perhaps even point a trembling finger at their stupidity, but at the end of the day it's the same answer as everyone else has, an empty shrug.
Lol, u high?
 

sdifox

No Lifer
Sep 30, 2005
83,281
8,590
126
It's a little sad that all of the responses are partisan bullshit. I get it, it's nice to sit on your high horse and look down on the unwashed masses, perhaps even point a trembling finger at their stupidity, but at the end of the day it's the same answer as everyone else has, an empty shrug.

So are you ready to contemplate universal healthcare or not?
 

Hayabusa Rider

Admin Emeritus & Elite Member
Jan 26, 2000
50,880
4,212
126
This is where IP laws need to be changed. In the case of insulin there is absolutely no justification for these prices as this something way beyond patent expiration except for loopholes and lawyers. New drugs are one thing, this is a very old evil, something that is inelastic in demand and an effective manipulation of markets that the fabulously wealthy of the Gilded Age would have been impressed by and this goes beyond medicine. There are more added costs every time some minor patent issue represents potential billions in profit and the power of corporations to use the system is as well known as ridiculous prices for old meds.

Health reform, sure, but the things that lie beneath the protection from competition and manipulation of patents and the acquisition of sources of raw materials to jack up prices. Between this and copyright laws we have a pattern of obstruction that goes beyond protecting innovation and to make sure that someone keeps things out of the public domain to profit in perpetuity.

This is a far-ranging problem that we accept while we complain about the results and not even consider how or why this came about and not think to put pressure on Congress to repair or mitigate what is not capitalism is supposed to be with the cry of "SOCIALISM EVIL" being heard.
 
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glenn1

Lifer
Sep 6, 2000
25,388
1,013
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If the patent is available in the public domain after having been sold for $1 then nothing is holding back anyone from producing and distributing it at whatever price they want. The federal government, states, or cities can produce it without needing to rely on those evil greedy capitalists or people can just form collectives to produce it. No one owes you a fucking thing in this world including medicine and I'm surprised that no one in this thread has whipped out the argument favored by idiots "well the CEO can just take one less vacation this year and give their stuff away for free." As if the person making the argument would take a pay cut at their job so random person who'd rather take meth than hold down a job can have someone else provide the medicine to keep their foot from falling off.
 

Indus

Diamond Member
May 11, 2002
6,729
2,247
136
If the patent is available in the public domain after having been sold for $1 then nothing is holding back anyone from producing and distributing it at whatever price they want. The federal government, states, or cities can produce it without needing to rely on those evil greedy capitalists or people can just form collectives to produce it. No one owes you a fucking thing in this world including medicine and I'm surprised that no one in this thread has whipped out the argument favored by idiots "well the CEO can just take one less vacation this year and give their stuff away for free." As if the person making the argument would take a pay cut at their job so random person who'd rather take meth than hold down a job can have someone else provide the medicine to keep their foot from falling off.
Except greed.
 
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ch33zw1z

Lifer
Nov 4, 2004
32,026
10,809
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If the patent is available in the public domain after having been sold for $1 then nothing is holding back anyone from producing and distributing it at whatever price they want. The federal government, states, or cities can produce it without needing to rely on those evil greedy capitalists or people can just form collectives to produce it. No one owes you a fucking thing in this world including medicine and I'm surprised that no one in this thread has whipped out the argument favored by idiots "well the CEO can just take one less vacation this year and give their stuff away for free." As if the person making the argument would take a pay cut at their job so random person who'd rather take meth than hold down a job can have someone else provide the medicine to keep their foot from falling off.
Wowsers.
 
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glenn1

Lifer
Sep 6, 2000
25,388
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I presume there's no law in your state prohibiting someone from taking an earlier "non evergreened patent" version of the insulin and producing it? If as you say there's little true innovation or value-add being provided each time the insulin is evergreened then surely a 1940s era version of insulin should meet the needs just fine? This isn't like we're talking stealth bombers here, the basic principles of pharmacology and industrial production aren't state secrets. If you think a CEO is making unconscionable profits because of greed, then become his competitor and take his market share away by producing your own supply and selling it at whatever price you want (or giving it away).
 

Pohemi420

Diamond Member
Oct 2, 2004
3,526
1,083
136
If the patent is available in the public domain after having been sold for $1 then nothing is holding back anyone from producing and distributing it at whatever price they want. The federal government, states, or cities can produce it without needing to rely on those evil greedy capitalists or people can just form collectives to produce it. No one owes you a fucking thing in this world including medicine and I'm surprised that no one in this thread has whipped out the argument favored by idiots "well the CEO can just take one less vacation this year and give their stuff away for free." As if the person making the argument would take a pay cut at their job so random person who'd rather take meth than hold down a job can have someone else provide the medicine to keep their foot from falling off.
Someone needing insulin and not being able to afford it is nowhere near the realm of some junkie getting high. Nice false equivalency and deflection.
 

glenn1

Lifer
Sep 6, 2000
25,388
1,013
126
Someone needing insulin and not being able to afford it is nowhere near the realm of some junkie getting high. Nice false equivalency and deflection.
This study seems to indicate the only reason why generic insulin isn't produced is because doctors don't want to prescribe "obsolete" versions. If you care about people not being able to afford it then the easiest and most moral way of giving it to them is to produce it yourself (an earlier off-patent version) and giving it to them. You don't and won't because that means you would need to pay for it yourself when this is really about having someone else (the 'greedy CEO') pay for it instead. This is always, always, always about having someone else pay for what you consider to be a problem. The fix is at hand as I've described, you can either fix it or you're just as greedy as the CEO.

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/03/150318184203.htm
 

Homerboy

Lifer
Mar 1, 2000
29,292
3,018
126
It's a little sad that all of the responses are partisan bullshit. I get it, it's nice to sit on your high horse and look down on the unwashed masses, perhaps even point a trembling finger at their stupidity, but at the end of the day it's the same answer as everyone else has, an empty shrug.
Wait - where is there a partisan response? Nobody is saying "fuck those Repubs!" or "those dirty Demorats!"
Quite EVERYONE is pointing the finger at the greedy companies exploiting the system put into place and currently upheld by the United States Government.
 
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thilanliyan

Lifer
Jun 21, 2005
11,183
1,043
126
It's a little sad that all of the responses are partisan bullshit. I get it, it's nice to sit on your high horse and look down on the unwashed masses, perhaps even point a trembling finger at their stupidity, but at the end of the day it's the same answer as everyone else has, an empty shrug.
One side is actually trying to come up with solutions on healthcare. The other side is too busy giving their donors tax breaks and pretending everything is A-okay.
And people like you come along to say "both sides!!!!". Sad.
 

glenn1

Lifer
Sep 6, 2000
25,388
1,013
126
That's right, your meager salary compared to a pharma CEO's means you are just as greedy. Listen up middle class America, just because it costs far less in other countries just means you're greedy. Thanks Glenn!
^ One more where either the rich guy pays or nothing. You claim to be the one that cares about things like people losing legs but I guess the billionaire is literally the only person who can produce and pay for insulin since @ch33zw1z certainly won’t.
 

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