Pharmacutical Companies can kiss my white, hairy...

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous' started by Trekker4747, Aug 10, 2013.

  1. JarodRussell

    JarodRussell Vice Admiral Admiral

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    One of the many reasons I don't buy into medical treatment of psychological problems.

    Oh you're depressed because your dog died? Take that pill. Only costs $1000.

    Oh you're suffering from anxiety having to talk to women? Here's a pill for you. $500.


    I don't deny that there are indeed a lot of cases where it's necessary, but in my opinion, doctors are way too trigger happy with their prescription pad.
     
  2. Trekker4747

    Trekker4747 Boldly going... Premium Member

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    Yeah, chemical imbalances in the brain can just be easy to treat by will power.
     
  3. JarodRussell

    JarodRussell Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Who said anything about easy?
     
  4. 1001001

    1001001 I Like the Beats and Shouting Moderator

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    From a Frontline interview with Marcia Angell:

    [What is] the profitability of this industry, compared to other American industries?

    Numero uno. The pharmaceutical industry is stunningly, staggeringly profitable. The 10 drug companies on the Fortune 500 list last year took in net profits of 18.5 percent on sales. That's 18.5 percent. That is stunning. The median for the other industries on the Fortune 500 list was a little over 3 percent, 3.3 percent of sales. This has been the case for the last 20 years; this is not just a fluke of last year. Year after year after year, the pharmaceutical industry has led all other industries in profits. ...

    The drug companies make the case that their prices are so high, and that total expenditures are so high, because their R&D costs are very high, as though they were just eking out, just barely managing to survive. But what we can see is that their profits are very much higher than their R&D costs, and therefore they could spend more on R&D if they wanted, and still have plenty of profits left over.
    [​IMG]
    They are numero uno in R&D as well, aren't they?

    Their R&D costs are very high, in absolute terms. But in relative terms, they're quite small, that is, relative to their other expenditures and to their profits. The drug companies spend on average, by their own figures, last year, 15 percent to 17 percent on R&D. That's a lot of money. There's no question that that's a lot of money. But their profits are higher. Their profits are 18.5 percent. That's higher than their R&D.

    What's really interesting is what they spend on marketing and administration, by their own figures, on average 35 percent. That's over twice as much as what they spend on R&D. So if they point to their R&D costs as some sort of justification for the high prices, what on earth can they say about their marketing costs, which are over twice that much?

    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/other/interviews/angell.html

    So as I said, the "High R&D Cost" argument is a flat-out lie.

    More importantly, it's not like their selling soda or private jets. This is life saving medicine we're talking about. Something people need.

    The government has given them a favorable regulatory environment, subsidies, and access to public university facilities and research. The public good should come into play somewhere here, don't you think?
     
  5. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Trekker, maybe you should get a new drug. One that won't make you sick. One that won't make you crash your car or make you feel three feet thick.
     
  6. publiusr

    publiusr Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    This is why we need both wage and price controls.

    Now wait, the libertarians say, "that 'distorts' the market, and, and they spend lots of money on R&D...and, and."

    Let's debunk this:

    First of all, remember the Wal Mart price drop (after my parents passed away, sadly)?

    A lot of their pills cost four dollars a bottle.

    This is because patents ran out. Now it doesn't really matter on a global scale whether a company loses a patent, or has to sell for 4 bucks a bottle due to regulation.

    if they can afford to eat one profit loss, they can eat the other just as well.

    Now companies won't punish folks over patent losses, but actively try to hurt folks after regulation. What a lot of companies do is that--if they get regulated, they pass things along for spite, then tell us to hate regulation.

    This is the wife-beating arguement.

    If a domestic abuser hits his wife, and she calls the cops (gov't) and he takes it badly, and then beats her worse when he gets out to "teach her a lesson." is that in any way the cops fault for trying to protect her? No, of course not. But that's the arguement the Ayn Rand types make.

    Now in order to protect folks, you may have to make the laws quite wordy. Now they will call this big gov't. But contract law is rather complex too, and Alabama's State Consitution is highly centralized (like libertarians say is bad) but being a Jim Crow era monstrosity, the rich keep it around since it nixes the will of the people to tax big timber barons in my State.

    So here is how you stop the rip offs.

    You impose price controls to where they can't rob you with $800 pills. There are wage controls to where they cannot take it out on the workers.

    Now as for their claims about this hurting R&D--here is a way around that: Libertarians always go on and on about competition, right? So you have Big Pharma compete for a tax write off to stockholders for whatever company spends the highest percentage on R&D.

    So they can't gouge you, the production line, or alienate the stockholders.

    The result?

    The bloody CEOs have to eat it for a change.
     
  7. propita

    propita Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    About generic v, brand...

    I was on generic for my thyroid. Mistake. Evidently consistency controls on generics aren't so good; those for brand have problems, too, but still have much greater consistency within a batch and batch to batch. On generic, dosage could fluctuate as much as 50% from the least concentrated pill to most. With brand, it would be, I think, less than half that. Kind of important when trying to regulate metabolism.
     
  8. mimic

    mimic Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    My Dad works in R&D for a drug company. They are constantly laying off people - I don't know how many rounds he's survived now, but it's been a lot.
     
  9. Ar-Pharazon

    Ar-Pharazon Vice Admiral Premium Member

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    ^ Is that a drug company that was just spun off, or one of the other ones?
     
  10. Mr Awe

    Mr Awe Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Some chemical imbalances are impossible to treat with medicines. I know because some in my family have had these problems. True, some Doctors may prescribe them too easily but in many cases, they are crucial. I've seen them work and really turn people around.

    Mr Awe
     
  11. Locutus of Bored

    Locutus of Bored The Norf Remembers Moderator

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    Just out of curiosity, are you being held hostage and forced to post exaggerated, inaccurate, and smugly superior without any justification for being so comments on this forum against your will? Because if not, then you should drop the multiple variations on the above disclaimer which you add to way too many of your posts. Though you at least get credit for this one time not arrogantly saying that your opinion is inherently correct just because you are older, a customer, a small business owner, what have you.

    If you don't have the time, energy, inclination, or ability to ever back up your baseless assertions with facts, then feel free not to make them in the first place. But if you insist on gracing us lowly peasants with your infinite wisdom on a regular basis, then you better find out how message boards work and be willing to argue your point with facts and links to reputable sources or else it just comes across as trolling to provoke a negative reaction. And it will be warned as such if you do it again, because I've already given you verbal admonitions about this multiple times in the past, and I believe other mods have cautioned you about it when you do it in their forums as well. Stop it.
     
  12. Trekker4747

    Trekker4747 Boldly going... Premium Member

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    Indeed. Depression isn't "I'm sad today because my dog died, I need medication!" it's about "I have a chemical imbalance in my brain that needs to be treated and corrected."
     
  13. thestrangequark

    thestrangequark Admiral Admiral

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    ^Some people still suffer from the ignorant notion that the brain is not part of the body.
     
  14. ManOnTheWave

    ManOnTheWave Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Big pharma is going to squeeze as much cash as possible out of the consumer for any given drug before it goes generic.

    Several allergy meds I've taken, for example, used to cost me hundreds for a ninety day supply. One by one they went generic or OTC and they run about a third of the cost (at most).
     
  15. ITL

    ITL Vice Admiral Admiral

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    As Stephen Fry said:

    “If you know someone who’s depressed, please resolve never to ask them why. Depression isn’t a straightforward response to a bad situation; depression just is, like the weather.

    Try to understand the blackness, lethargy, hopelessness, and loneliness they’re going through. Be there for them when they come through the other side. It’s hard to be a friend to someone who’s depressed, but it is one of the kindest, noblest, and best things you will ever do.”
     
  16. Mr Awe

    Mr Awe Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Definitely. And, I meant to write, "Some chemical imbalances are impossible to treat *without* medicines."

    Mr Awe
     
  17. B.J.

    B.J. Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Pretty much my experience exactly, and that with just *one* of my son's three prescriptions. Actually, for some weird reason, we sometimes have to pay about $170 for a month's supply, even after insurance.

    This particular Rx is for Abilify, and my son takes it in order to live a more normal life with his Aspergers. Without it, his emotions pretty much run rampant, and he can go from happy to screaming-his-head-off angry in a second, which doesn't bode well for a school environment.

    And of course, the psychiatrist he has to see in order to get the Rx doesn't take insurance of any kind, so those visits come out of pocket. It's difficult enough finding one that sees children, pretty much impossible to find one that still takes insurance. After all the health care changes over the last few years, most of not all of the psychiatrists, psychologists, and other mental health professionals in the area have stopped taking insurance.

    And as a direct result of all this (my son's emotional rollercoaster and the related costs), my wife has had to go back to a Rx for antidepressants, which are also a huge chunk of change. With the recent health care changes which were supposed to make it affordable for more people, our personal cost has exponentially skyrocketed over the last few years. Not only have more doctors refused to take any insurance, but our copays and deductibles have shot up like crazy (gone up 150% and >~1000%, respectively), and that's with my company's fairly decent coverage. And the cost of our Rx isn't helping.

    :scream:

    .... Sorry about the rant. Sometimes need to vent about that.

    But as for my son, we'll do what we have to for him to live a good, mostly normal life, no matter what the cost.
     
  18. mimic

    mimic Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    GSK. He hates it there. They recently closed the building where my Dad works, moved everyone to Upper Providence, adopted that ridiculous policy where you have no permanent cubicle/office but get one on a first-come first-served basis every day - it's a blatant attempt to get the people who commute from NJ or DE to quit.
     
  19. Trekker4747

    Trekker4747 Boldly going... Premium Member

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    As it turns out Abilify is the drug I'm having trouble with.
     
  20. B.J.

    B.J. Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    ^ Kinda figured that, what with the numbers being spot-on to my experience. Yeah, I feel your pain there (in the wallet, that is).