Pharmaceutical companies good or bad?

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by Mem, Sep 14, 2007.

  1. Mem

    Mem
    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2006
    Messages:
    8,087
    Likes Received:
    8
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    FL
    They say that the prices on drugs (medications) are so high because they need research. I say drugs because they are like drug dealers.

    They spend as much on advertising as they do on research. What good are their TV ads to the public? Aren't doctors supposed to tell you what you need, or are you supposed to tell them what you want? (from what you saw on a TV ad)
     
  2. snoozan

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2006
    Messages:
    3,568
    Likes Received:
    4
    Without the pharmaceutical companies, I'd be, at best, very sick, and at worst, dead. I have two very serious chronic illnesses that, if not controlled by drugs. can be fatal.

    With that said, they pharma companies waste a lot of money on advertising, perks for doctors, junk like pens, etc. etc. However, these are all common marketing practices and they work. There have been problems with medications not being as effective as claimed or they can cause serious unanticipated side effects.

    There's a lot of room for improvement, but I'm not going to condemn the entire industry.
     
  3. Mem

    Mem
    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2006
    Messages:
    8,087
    Likes Received:
    8
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    FL
    First of all they are not looking for cures. If they find a cure for something that is the end of their profit.

    I don't think they are all bad. They do have lobbyists that work against the common man and towards the industry.

    I was getting medications from Canada via mail order for my Mother's advanced Parkinsons Disease. A few months ago the Pharmacy in Canada told us that there is a law in place and they could no longer ship to NJ.
     
  4. snoozan

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2006
    Messages:
    3,568
    Likes Received:
    4
    That's conspiracy theory bullshit and I'd love to see you come up with any sort of reliable source for that little tidbit of information. For many diseases, the "cure" is preventative anyway, which doctors are trying to instill into their patients rather than put them on medication once they get sick.

    I can't see how it's that cut and dried that the companies don't want to find cures and want to keep people sick. Stem cell research and other similar gene-based therapies are working on just that-- curing chronic illnesses.

    Explain what they do to work against the common man. I'm not disagreeing with you, I'm just asking at least for examples and hopefully some sources. You're making a lot of broad statements and not backing them up with anything.

    Did you know that US customers actually subsidize low cost medications in countries like Canada so that our prices are higher to keep theirs lower? I don't agree with this practice 100%, but it is at least partially true.

    If your mother can't afford her medications, there are tons of pharmaceutical-sponsored, state-sponsored and other programs to help her get her medication for less money. Yes, meds are too expensive, especially for those on fixed incomes and have disabilites. But that more to do with where our current healthcare system in general is failing, not just pharmaceutical companies.

    Healthcare in Canada and in other places with socialized medicine isn't perfect, and has its own problems. Hopefully in the US we'll be able to find a solution.
     
  5. Mem

    Mem
    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2006
    Messages:
    8,087
    Likes Received:
    8
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    FL
    They are there to make money, not to cure diseases, they are not a non-profit industry. Why would they want to cure a disease that brings them billions of dollar a year in treatments?
     
  6. jason_els

    jason_els <img border="0" src="/images/badges/gold_member.gi

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2004
    Messages:
    10,576
    Likes Received:
    25
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Warwick, NY, USA
    Ultimately drug companies are unethical because they place profit before human need. So does every other business. Corporate officers have a legal duty to do everything possible to generate and maximize profit within the scope of the corporate charter. If that means denying their product or overcharging others then they do so because they are compelled to.

    The system sucks but as Chruchill once said about democracy, "It's the worst form of government. Except for all the others." Same deal. Maybe someday we'll reach a utopia where we will have everything we need regardless of cost, but that isn't happening any time soon. Until then we're stuck with the capitalist system.
     
  7. Ethyl

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2006
    Messages:
    5,476
    Albums:
    2
    Likes Received:
    495
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    Philadelphia (PA, US)
    Do you remember the cervival cancer vaccine shot that was introduced last year? The human papillomavirus has no cure and cannot be treated at all. Recommendation for women who have it? Yearly pap smears. Where is the money made for making sure women have no cure or treatment for this?

    Pharmaceutical companies make money but they also give us what we need. It is a double edged sword when so many treatments are available yet some are outrageously expensive. Depending on where you live some treatments and drugs arent' available. I know there are some drugs available here that aren't in Europe or Canada.

    My biggest complaint is that there isn't more research on diet and supplements, studies focusing on prevention rather than the cure.
     
  8. DC_DEEP

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2005
    Messages:
    9,029
    Likes Received:
    12
    Of course they are there to make money. But I disagree about them not wanting to find cures. Isn't that what antibiotics are all about? And vaccines? And chemotherapies? True, some chronic diseases (like Parkinson's) only have treatments but not cures, but I'm not sure that the fault is with the pharmaceutical companies.

    Now, for me to agree with you... the truly unethical part of the industry is their pricing strategy. Undoubtedly, some of the higher costs really are in part due to funding the research. However...

    Many many many of the higher-cost drugs are not valued according to research & manufacturing costs, but very simply based on "what the market will bear." They find out how much a large segment of the population is willing to pay for a particular drug, then price accordingly. For instance, I suffer from chronic migraine headaches. The fancy new tryptan-based drugs usually cost around $15 to $25 per dose. A simple narcotic, (oxycodone, actually somewhat more effective for me) costs around 56 cents per dose. While some people would jump at the chance to get the narcotics, most people with legitimate need and usage would prefer a non-narcotic relief. The choice for me comes down to risk of addiction and the doctor's willingness to prescribe, versus the other drug with no chance for addiction, better availability, slightly less effectiveness, and a 45 times higher cost.

    If you have ever had a migraine, you understand that people who do have them are often willing to pay "whatever it takes" for relief.

    And in the case of drugs for Parkinson's disease, some of the older drugs (like Sinemet) are much cheaper and about as effective as some of the newer, more expensive drugs. Doing your research is imperative.
     
  9. viking1

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2006
    Messages:
    4,706
    Likes Received:
    5
    Everything in a capitalist free market society is priced according to "what the market will bear". Not just prescription drugs. Gasoline, food, hardware, ect. It's all based on what people will pay, and not what it costs to, manufacture, distribute, research, advertise, or transport. Anyone who doesn't like this system will have to move to a full socialist country.
     
  10. Mem

    Mem
    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2006
    Messages:
    8,087
    Likes Received:
    8
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    FL
    But you can not charge whatever you want. You can not price gouge, nor cheat the public.

    The Government can cheat you. The guy who caught the Barry Bonds record breaking ball had to sell it or pay taxes on the potential "value" of it.
     
  11. viking1

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2006
    Messages:
    4,706
    Likes Received:
    5
    Bullshit too! There may be laws against this, especially in some states and in some cases. However, this happens every day, and our government does nothing. Once in while they will cry "foul" and then have an investigation just to make people think they are doing something.

    Case in point: the $6.00 per gallon gas prices in the south after hurricane Katrina. Yea, they some investigations, but was anything done? hell no!
    If that wasn't gouging, just what the hell would you call it???
     
  12. Pecker

    Pecker Retired Moderator
    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2002
    Messages:
    83,922
    Likes Received:
    34
    Pfizer supplies all of my name-brand meds free of charge, saving me over $500 per month.

    I buy my generic prescriptions from Wal-Mart for $4 each.
     
  13. Mem

    Mem
    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2006
    Messages:
    8,087
    Likes Received:
    8
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    FL
    I hope it's not their little blue pill.:wink:

    I tried Walmart but they were out of stock on something that I needed for my mother. Costco has a similar program $10 for 100 pills, but the list of meds is very limited in both places.
     
  14. DC_DEEP

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2005
    Messages:
    9,029
    Likes Received:
    12
    Not necessarily so. But especially for food and medications, that should not be the business model.
     
  15. Principessa

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2006
    Messages:
    19,494
    Likes Received:
    28
    Gender:
    Female
    Good in that they provide some of us with the medicines we need to live or at least maintain a reasonable quality of life.

    Bad in that they rape us on the cost. I don't believe for one second that more than a few pennies of any prescription cost goes toward research. As other posters have mentioned it goes for freebies (pens, post it pads, mugs, lanyards etc.) to the doctors so they will prescribe their product. It also goes into the salaries of the employees of these companies; and the beautiful, huge sprawling campuses on which these drug companies sit.







     
  16. SpoiledPrincess

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2006
    Messages:
    8,167
    Likes Received:
    29
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    england
    Like most businesses they'll charge as much as they think they can get away with.
     
  17. hypoc8

    hypoc8 Member

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2007
    Messages:
    718
    Likes Received:
    5
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    SC
    My ex works in a large doctors office with over 30 doctors. Every day of the week they have their lunch catered by guess who, the drug reps. Guess who's paying for it, we are. Aint life grand.
     
  18. viking1

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2006
    Messages:
    4,706
    Likes Received:
    5
    I agree it shouldn't be so on necessities like food, medicine, clothing, energy, etc. However, I don't know of anything that doesn't work that way in a free market society.
     
  19. Mem

    Mem
    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2006
    Messages:
    8,087
    Likes Received:
    8
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    FL
    Medicine is a necessity that you can not scrimp on.

    With food, you can choose your own budget

    With clothing you can get a new pair of Jeans for $10 and a t-shirt for $5.

    Energy is regulated. They can not charge whatever they want.
     
  20. Mem

    Mem
    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2006
    Messages:
    8,087
    Likes Received:
    8
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    FL
    There is a lot of Payola in the "drug" business. They can give trips to "conventions" in the Caribbean, they don't really care about sick people. They are drug dealers.
     
Draft saved Draft deleted