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(The Incidental Economist)   Myth: Pharmaceutical companies' R&D costs are skyrocketing. Reality: Pharmaceutical companies' revenues are skyrocketing six times faster than their R&D costs   (theincidentaleconomist.com) divider line 50
    More: Obvious, BMJ, Phase I, Dean Baker  
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3660 clicks; posted to Main » on 10 Aug 2012 at 7:21 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest


Archived thread
2012-08-10 03:32:03 PM
7 votes:
Why do you think the medical industry is more interested in treating symptoms rather than fighting the root cause of disease?
2012-08-10 03:34:01 PM
6 votes:
There's no profit in cures
2012-08-10 03:29:21 PM
5 votes:
Not to mention that you can write off 100% of your R&D expenses.
2012-08-10 03:49:43 PM
4 votes:

Mrtraveler01: meow said the dog: Hold on I thought they could no longer make the profits due to the Obamacare?

Considering that most of the R&D is done in places like Europe, Southeast Asia and Israel. I'm not surprised.



THIS. Pfizer, for one, has closed the big research centers in the US that discovered its most profitable drugs. Mainly because the morons in charge of the company run it the same way they would McDonald's.
2012-08-10 07:34:23 PM
3 votes:
Also: The FDA is in their pocket.
2012-08-10 04:49:03 PM
3 votes:

jchic: Why do you think the medical industry is more interested in treating symptoms rather than fighting the root cause of disease?


This is only partially true.
Take hypertension as an example. HT is caused by a myriad of diseases, genetic conditions and just plain you are fat and out of shape. Drugs which treat the HT are a god send and keep 100s of millions of people alive everyday. If you think for a second that a drug company wouldnt want to create a "perfect" diet pill then you are insane.

A bigger problem is the medical diagnosing community/insurance companies to start with.
I have HT, but my doctor (like almost all the rest) treated the symptoms. A couple tests were done to rule out the major causes, but in the end, she treated the symptoms, rather than the cause. This happens over and over for the majority of americans. The drug companies are feeding the doctors and the insurance companies/doctors are failing the patients.

In the end, it would have saved the insurance companies tons of dollars doing proper diagnosis, rather than paying for never ending drugs prescriptions.

Perfect example is kidney dialysis vs transplant. Transplant is tons cheaper long term.
And for every condition which is being treated by drugs, there is an opportunity for someone to come up with a cure. Come up with a better vaccine against the common cold?? Even if I needed a shot ever year??? Come up with a cure for aids/hiv? Hello Nobel Prize and fame. and you would be selling that drug like crazy in the rich countries.

Alas, you are completely correct about part of the problem.
Take a quick look at the cure for ulcers. The cure was KNOWN for many years before it came to america. Strangely enough, the cure appeared in america about the same time as the patent expiration for tagamet and zantac, pepcid, prilosec ....

Link fun read from UOFC press
2012-08-10 10:43:37 PM
2 votes:

BMFPitt: Amos Quito: The drug company only wants to make a profit and your doctor is only investing 15 minutes in your well-being.

It's YOUR health. Why should you trust anyone?

Because my doctor went to medical school, practices medicine professionally, and knows what the fark he's talking about.

Finally, pay attention to your body. Each drug works differently for each individual. If it's not working well for you, contact your doctor. There are probably a dozen alternatives.

So were you under the impression that anyone, anywhere, ever, was advocating that once an initial diagnosis has been made and a prescription has been given that there should be no follow-up?



Not at all. It's just that many people seem to place an undue amount of faith in their doctors and the candy they prescribe. Doctors are always pressed for time, and most people don't ask enough questions or bother to research their meds, and are SHOCKED when they start having unexpected adverse effects.

Point is, you are your own best health advocate.
2012-08-10 09:43:24 PM
2 votes:
The only people who matter these days are Shareholders.
Greedy, cold-hearted, reptillian shareholders,
And the goddamn politicians they bribe to do their bidding.
2012-08-10 09:21:31 PM
2 votes:

BronyMedic: Amos Quito: /PremPro's (and Premarin's) primary ingredient - estrogen - is derived from horse piss

So? There are numerous drugs that are sourced from animals. Hell, google "Fecal Transplant ICU". if you really want to be grossed out.

What point are you trying to make here?

Amos Quito: Pfizer has paid out over $600 million in settlements due to breast cancer caused by the menopause drug PremPro - so far.

Except that Hormone Replacement Therapy is no longer recommended to be used except in unique, case by case circumstances, and the patients are educated that it causes an increased risk of breast cancer with estrogen-receptor tumors.



Bullshiat. You need to brush up.

HRT is still the ONLY FDA approved treatment for menopause symptoms, and PremPro sales in 2010 were just under 200 million, and Premarin was probably close to that figure.

This is a far cry from their $2 billion peak in annual sales before the WHI study crashed their party, but the initial shock has worn off, and sales are steadily rising again as women are desperate for relief, and there is no FDA approved alternative (other than off-label prescriptions with little to no efficacy).
2012-08-10 09:04:47 PM
2 votes:
I'm actually getting a kick out of this right now, because I'm having to argue with my insurance company over the drugs I've been prescribed.

Vyvance (Lisdextroamfetamine) is a wonderful drug. It's got a lot of efficacy studies out there, it's got a favorable side effect profile, and a low abuse and addiction potential. 250 dollars a month. Insurance company is not wanting to pay for it.

BUT.

THey're happy paying for Desoxyn. Desoxyn is METHAMPHETAMINE. High abuse and addiction potential, high cardiovascular side effect potential.

FML.
2012-08-10 08:54:34 PM
2 votes:

BMFPitt: Grobbley: In a nutshell, I'm saying that to say "I don't trust drug advertisements but I do trust my doctor" is about the same as "I don't trust corporations to do the right thing, but I do trust the government/my representatives to do the right thing"

No it's not.

It's more like "I don't trust the guy randomly cold-calling me about a hot stock tip, but I do trust my financial adviser." You may have hired a financial adviser who is trying to rip you off, but if you weren't smart enough to hire someone reputable then you're probably going to do just as badly doing it yourself.



The drug company only wants to make a profit and your doctor is only investing 15 minutes in your well-being.

It's YOUR health. Why should you trust anyone? When you're prescribed a drug, ASK YOUR DOCTOR QUESTIONS about the benefits, the side effects, interactions, contradictions, withdrawals, etc. And then ask your pharmacist - who probably knows more about the drug than your MD.

Then do you OWN research on the drug using reputable literature and websites (pubmed, webmd, etc.) Read peer reviewed studies.

Then find out what actual users of the product are saying. Ask A Patient is a great website. Type in the name of the drug you've been prescribed and read the experiences of others.

Finally, pay attention to your body. Each drug works differently for each individual. If it's not working well for you, contact your doctor. There are probably a dozen alternatives.

Bottom line: You're the one who has to live with the consequences.

Not your doctor, not the drug company, not the insurance company, YOU.
2012-08-10 07:50:43 PM
2 votes:
I work for a company that makes pharmacy information systems among other things. The other day I got a chance to really get my hands into the system and learn it. The most shocking thing about it was the recommended drug prices (which was listed right next to the retail price). Really, it was unfarking believable. I think everyone knows theres an enormous markup but holy shiat if people knew just how badly they were getting raped on this stuff they would riot. Not sure how relevant this is to the article since this is about hospitals but I mean...damn.
2012-08-10 07:40:42 PM
2 votes:

fusillade762: Also don't mention that government research is responsible a lot of these drugs.

According to the NIH, taxpayer-funded scientists conducted 55 percent of the research projects that led to the discovery and development of the top five selling drugs in 1995


Taxpayers take the risk and private companies get the profits. How our glorious free market system works, right?
2012-08-10 07:38:11 PM
2 votes:

Marcus Aurelius: They spend several times more on marketing than on R&D, thanks to laws allowing them to advertise on TV and radio. They paid good money for those laws. And the return is spectacular.


Several? NINETEEN TIMES as much according to TFA.


Mugato: Marcus Aurelius: They spend several times more on marketing than on R&D, thanks to laws allowing them to advertise on TV and radio. They paid good money for those laws. And the return is spectacular.

I never really understood advertising for drugs.

*woman running in a wheat field*

"Ask you're doctor about Alderaanavulcanistron. Symptoms may include dry mouth and horrible twisting death."

Doesn't your doctor know about all this shiat? Why do you have to inform him of the girl you saw running in the field on TV?


The one I especially love is the one for Nexium that says "You wouldn't want your doctor doing your job, so why should you do his?" and then directs people to ask their doctors for Nexium.


NowhereMon: Not to mention that you can write off 100% of your R&D expenses.


Also don't mention that government research is responsible a lot of these drugs.

According to the NIH, taxpayer-funded scientists conducted 55 percent of the research projects that led to the discovery and development of the top five selling drugs in 1995
2012-08-10 07:31:03 PM
2 votes:

MugzyBrown: Maybe we shouldn't allow a drug to remain patented for several years.... or any years...


So... How would that work? A company would invest millions into developing a new drug and then just hand it over to the competition? They'd go out of business with a model like that.
2012-08-10 04:35:17 PM
2 votes:

Marcus Aurelius: They spend several times more on marketing than on R&D, thanks to laws allowing them to advertise on TV and radio. They paid good money for those laws. And the return is spectacular.


I never really understood advertising for drugs.

*woman running in a wheat field*

"Ask you're doctor about Alderaanavulcanistron. Symptoms may include dry mouth and horrible twisting death."

Doesn't your doctor know about all this shiat? Why do you have to inform him of the girl you saw running in the field on TV?
2012-08-10 03:48:09 PM
2 votes:

meow said the dog: Hold on I thought they could no longer make the profits due to the Obamacare?


Considering that most of the R&D is done in places like Europe, Southeast Asia and Israel. I'm not surprised.
2012-08-10 11:41:05 PM
1 votes:
I work at a pharma company. I can tell you that they don't spend much on R&D and they don't pass the savings on to you.

Ways to avoid spending on R&D:
-Find new indications for existing drugs
-Extending existing patents
-Slight reformulations of existing drugs

Also, what money they spend goes to layers of ineffectual middle management.

/bitter
2012-08-10 11:08:04 PM
1 votes:

Quantum Apostrophe: Mambo Bananapatch: barring degenerative mental illness or brain damage.

Being over 30 *IS* a degenerative mental illness. You just THINK you're smarter. Fine. Go back to university. You wouldn't last a week.


I went back to university at the age of 50 for a graduate degree (MBA). I graduated with a 4.0 GPA. The program lasted much longer than a week. Interestingly, my professors often told me that younger students couldn't write a coherent essay.
2012-08-10 09:35:09 PM
1 votes:

NowhereMon: Not to mention that you can write off 100% of your R&D expenses.


Let's see what they charge in other nations where prices are capped..
2012-08-10 09:12:05 PM
1 votes:

pxlboy: Doc Daneeka: I recently left academia and took a position as research scientist at a mid-sized biotech/pharma.

Personally, I love the work and the company so far. But I have to say it is an interesting feeling being in apparently one of the most hated industries on Fark.

What sort of research are you doing?


I'm a mouse geneticist. I work on developing genetically engineered mouse strains as disease models and for drug development, supporting research efforts in a number of different areas.
2012-08-10 09:07:38 PM
1 votes:
Grobbley: Mugato: Grobbley: In a nutshell, I'm saying that to say "I don't trust drug advertisements but I do trust my doctor" is about the same as "I don't trust corporations to do the right thing, but I do trust the government/my representatives to do the right thing"

Alright but doctors do have the whole Hippocratic Oath thing and no, I'm not saying that it means that doctors are beyond reproach but doctors can get sued for malpractice very easily and they can lose their entire career very easily so yes, I will trust a doctor's advice over that of a commercial if for no other reason that a doctor has a lot to lose if he farks up.

I'm also not necessarily suggesting that trusting a doctor will get you killed. I'm just suggesting that they likely don't always have your best interest at heart. For instance, they might have a few different options for medicines to prescribe you, some cheaper than others, but they prescribe the more expensive option because some rep will keep giving them free stuff if they do. Not necessarily malpractice, just not in your best interest.


I think the best point out of this is do your research, and get a second opinion when a doctor prescribes a drug to you that is new, or that makes you feel uneasy based on that research. Especially if the doctor can't answer your questions to your satisfaction. But don't believe everything you read on the internet. Testimonials are not a good way to get information, because there are a lot of variables that affect individuals who take a certain medication.

Empowerment is great, but - in the end - you're a patient, not a Doctor. University of Google does not take the place of a medical education, and years of clinical experience that a family doctor, or a specialist has in their field.
2012-08-10 08:48:52 PM
1 votes:

Mutt Farkinov: God-is-a-Taco: Marcus Aurelius:
They do it because it sells, especially with old people. Lots of them will do any damn thing the TV tells them to do.

You poor fool. I used to be like you, but now I'm on Ageless Male.
I'm stronger than I used to be, I have more energy, and I'm ready for romance if the time comes.


Targeted advertising is hilarious. The Military Channel has some of the best stuff. The demographic is clearly 50+ year old overweight men with shattered dreams of glory.

There's one for a weight-loss pill (can't remember the name), where you will be able to lose weight without changing your diet or exercising. There's a lady narrating it that says, "...only for people who are serious about losing weight." I can just imagine how many people get that hook set deep because it makes these pills sound like high-potency, serious business.

/fine print says they lost something like an average of 4 pounds over three months


Diet pill commercials amaze me. I suppose there are people desperate (or more likely dumb) enough to believe that they can continue to stuff their faces while sitting on the couch and still lose weight.

Not sure if sad, angry, or both.
2012-08-10 08:40:19 PM
1 votes:
Fact: Just because this is true, does not mean the pharmaceutical companies are in a nefarious conspiracy with the RAND Corporation and the Saucer people to keep you sick for profit. It also does not mean that VItamin D cures cancer, or that vaccines cause autism.

Just getting this out of the way.
2012-08-10 08:21:58 PM
1 votes:

MasterThief: Meanwhile, here's an actual drug researcher explaining why this study is full of shiat. (Which is, ironically, linked in TFA.)


^^^THIS. It's a much better article. TFA is the pharmaceutical version of birthers. Although I can't really blame people for being suspicious, because the industry is somewhat shrouded in mystery. There's essentially no way for a lay person to know this kind of information without years and years of schooling/research/work experience.
2012-08-10 08:10:04 PM
1 votes:
Don't get sick.

/ No, really.
2012-08-10 08:08:50 PM
1 votes:
2012-08-10 08:06:05 PM
1 votes:

MaudlinMutantMollusk: There's no profit in cures


That IS the bottom line - sadly!
2012-08-10 08:05:37 PM
1 votes:

MBooda: aaaand their legal expenses are skyrocketing six times faster than their revenues.



Pfizer has paid out over $600 million in settlements due to breast cancer caused by the menopause drug PremPro - so far.

They expect that figure to double with the cases that are currently outstanding, and more keep coming.

But Pfizer's not sweating it. The drug is still on the market, the patent jealously protected, and they're still prescribing it like crazy.

Obviously the profits are so farking high that they outweigh all such costs AND the reputation damage caused.


/PremPro's (and Premarin's) primary ingredient - estrogen - is derived from horse piss
2012-08-10 08:04:50 PM
1 votes:
That's because people have been lead to believe they need pills to control their kids behavior and pills to deal with the difficulty of everyday life.
2012-08-10 07:52:39 PM
1 votes:
2012-08-10 07:48:47 PM
1 votes:

Marcus Aurelius: Mugato: Marcus Aurelius: They spend several times more on marketing than on R&D, thanks to laws allowing them to advertise on TV and radio. They paid good money for those laws. And the return is spectacular.

I never really understood advertising for drugs.

*woman running in a wheat field*

"Ask you're doctor about Alderaanavulcanistron. Symptoms may include dry mouth and horrible twisting death."


Doesn't your doctor know about all this shiat? Why do you have to inform him of the girl you saw running in the field on TV?

They do it because it sells, especially with old people. Lots of them will do any damn thing the TV tells them to do.



Yeah, but old people don't get to PRESCRIBE the drugs. Doctors do.

And if your doctor is willing to prescribe you a drug because YOU saw a TV commercial with a happy couple walking on the beach with their dog...

Advertising RX meds to the public USED to be illegal.
2012-08-10 07:45:52 PM
1 votes:
All the real research is done by the tax payer funded NIH anyway

Pharma spends more on marketing than it does R&D and has for a long time
2012-08-10 07:43:25 PM
1 votes:

God-is-a-Taco: I'm stronger than I used to be, I have more energy, and I'm ready for romance if the time comes.


Uh oh, Selective Middle-Aged Memory Loss. It's when you think you're smarter or in better shape at 40 than 20...
2012-08-10 07:40:41 PM
1 votes:

The Jami Turman Fan Club: Dow Jones and the Temple of Doom: MugzyBrown: Maybe we shouldn't allow a drug to remain patented for several years.... or any years...

So... How would that work? A company would invest millions into developing a new drug and then just hand it over to the competition? They'd go out of business with a model like that.

They'd license it for a reasonable fee. Or the government would pay for research, much as it does now in universities.


You don't work in the private sector, do you?
2012-08-10 07:38:26 PM
1 votes:

NowhereMon: Not to mention that you can write off 100% of your R&D expenses.


Um, write-off doesn't mean it's free, and that's conditional.

But yeah, speaking as someone on the science end of things, generally speaking the techniques for standard drug delivery and rapid chemical modification have been getting easier (i.e. cheaper) not harder. The idea that the same amount of research to obtain a drug as you'd put in ten years ago is somehow more expensive than it was ten years ago (inflation aside) is kind of an extraordinary claim that I'd want some solid citations for before I believed it to begin with.

Dow Jones and the Temple of Doom: MugzyBrown: Maybe we shouldn't allow a drug to remain patented for several years.... or any years...

So... How would that work? A company would invest millions into developing a new drug and then just hand it over to the competition? They'd go out of business with a model like that.


Before we had patents, we had trade secrets (technically there are still trade secrets, they're just protected by contract law rather than law law). You would carefully not tell anyone what was in your product, throw random harmless functionalities onto your chemicals to confuse spectrometers, engage in a lot of low-level industrial espionage, etc.

Basically drugs used to be handled the way the Coke/Pepsi conflict was handled (albeit we _had_ patents, the protection at the time was just extremely minimal and enforcement was almost entirely beyond the capacity of the feds). I kinda prefer the current system where people can take the information and build on it, even if they're not allowed to replicate it exactly. It's a good compromise that keeps all the wheels turning.
2012-08-10 07:37:43 PM
1 votes:
Pharma companies make money. BFD. This means my in-laws will have an income and can eat.
2012-08-10 07:37:21 PM
1 votes:

Heraclitus: They definitely have enough money for grandpas boner pill adds!


The first boner pills were an accidental side effect while working on something to help people with pulmonary hypertension (and mountain climbers). It just turned out that boners make more money than keeping people with PAH (like me) alive a little longer.
2012-08-10 07:35:09 PM
1 votes:
Try losing your job and insurance when you're on Stelara to clear your psoriasis. I was totally clear of the horrible skin disease on that drug. Months later I'm covered in plaque. Basically your skin grows too fast and dies off leaving pieces of dead skin the size of corn flakes that itch to no end. I called the pharma company to see If I could purchase it and have my dermatologist give me the shot (required 4 times a year). The price for one injection is $6,900 or close to $28,000 dollars per year. Wearing shorts is a luxury to me.
2012-08-10 07:33:19 PM
1 votes:

Marcus Aurelius:
They do it because it sells, especially with old people. Lots of them will do any damn thing the TV tells them to do.


You poor fool. I used to be like you, but now I'm on Ageless Male.
I'm stronger than I used to be, I have more energy, and I'm ready for romance if the time comes.


Targeted advertising is hilarious. The Military Channel has some of the best stuff. The demographic is clearly 50+ year old overweight men with shattered dreams of glory.
2012-08-10 07:32:46 PM
1 votes:

MBooda: aaaand their legal expenses are skyrocketing six times faster than their revenues.


You wish
2012-08-10 07:30:45 PM
1 votes:
No shiat.

If I understood my psych professor correctly, once they figured out what gets people to buy in to a particular scenario, they're far more likely to do what sells over what is actually working.

Case in point, that Roche BC drug that got its approval yanked - despite what I read about the cost, questionable success or effectiveness, people were going BONKERS when they stopped selling it.

I'm all for treating BC as effectively as possible, but the stuff didn't apparently work for most of the people who took it, and you could buy a good house for the cost over time. Psychology + advertising is a bad bad place to get into unless you have no conscience. At which point, line them up against the wall, please.

/F this shiat O'Clock, sorry.
//Also miss my mom.
2012-08-10 07:30:05 PM
1 votes:
Did they get their patents extended to 70 years, or are they still changing the filler ingredient and re applying for patents every 7?
2012-08-10 07:27:25 PM
1 votes:
Maybe we shouldn't allow a drug to remain patented for several years.... or any years...
2012-08-10 07:25:09 PM
1 votes:
I wish those evil pharmaceutical corporations would all go out of business. Then we could treat diseases with real cures, like homeopathy and white gold powder.
2012-08-10 07:24:01 PM
1 votes:

downstairs: This. I go to my doctor with symtoms, I trust him to figure the best drug for me.


I too prefer to be totally uneducated on a subject and let the doctor pick the medicine with the hottest pharma rep or biggest kick-backs for my problem like the good ole days
2012-08-10 05:55:22 PM
1 votes:

Mugato: Marcus Aurelius: They spend several times more on marketing than on R&D, thanks to laws allowing them to advertise on TV and radio. They paid good money for those laws. And the return is spectacular.

I never really understood advertising for drugs.

*woman running in a wheat field*

"Ask you're doctor about Alderaanavulcanistron. Symptoms may include dry mouth and horrible twisting death."

Doesn't your doctor know about all this shiat? Why do you have to inform him of the girl you saw running in the field on TV?


They do it because it sells, especially with old people. Lots of them will do any damn thing the TV tells them to do.
2012-08-10 04:38:21 PM
1 votes:

Mugato: I never really understood advertising for drugs.

*woman running in a wheat field*

"Ask you're doctor about Alderaanavulcanistron. Symptoms may include dry mouth and horrible twisting death."

Doesn't your doctor know about all this shiat? Why do you have to inform him of the girl you saw running in the field on TV?


This. I go to my doctor with symtoms, I trust him to figure the best drug for me.
2012-08-10 03:42:32 PM
1 votes:
Let the circle jerk.... begin.
2012-08-10 03:35:26 PM
1 votes:
They spend several times more on marketing than on R&D, thanks to laws allowing them to advertise on TV and radio. They paid good money for those laws. And the return is spectacular.
 
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