Medical Industrial Complex.

Discussion in 'The Thinking Cap' started by ABDeL, Jan 16, 2017.

  1. ABDeL

    ABDeL Site Advisor DiploGuard Our Creator

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    This is a continuation of a discussion we were having on Discord but it was getting too messy with multiple people's input and issues with keeping a discussion going live so we're moving it to Diplo:

    Here is where we left off:

    I mentioned to Cniper earlier that 5000-6000 Americans a year, out of 300m+ are afflicted with the illness which is cured by the drug whos price is extremely high. In any other country, these people would be relegated to die. But, because there are no price controls on drugs in the US, they have a chance to live, although it comes at a hefty cost due to the rarity of the illness. The more prevalent an illness is, the cheaper the cost will be to cure. Rarer diseases are more expensive because the cost is shouldered by a small segment of the population. Is this a good system? On its face, no. But these are drugs that would've never been developed anyway. These people are being given a chance at life when they would've otherwise most likely been sent to a hospice instead. And thats the point here. Its easy to point and scream about high drug prices and the cost of the RND associated with it when you don't pay for it. Drug companies want to sell their drugs across the globe, and you are correct in your assessment in that those governments don't allow them to overcharge, so they sell anyway, but that cost comes back to the American population anyway. The RND has to be paid for so companies can profit. If they don't profit the drug isn't worth their time, and people die.



    People already die due to illnesses that are incurable, and cures can be found. But they will require expensive RND, time and effort to cure. You are all advocating for a system that would relegate thousands to early graves simply because you cannot realize that drug creation is expensive. And it wouldn't even be bad if you advocated for systems of governance which made RND cheaper, or created more competition so new drugs can come to market and drugs to become cheaper. Like a mentioned to Mass a few minutes ago, you will be happy when we are all equal, even if we are equal in death. I know that this isn't what you explicitly want but this is the result of a system based on what you advocate.
     
  2. Ser_Fergus

    Ser_Fergus Knight of the DiploGuard

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    That's not how medicine works. Medical researchers as a profession, do not research for personal profit, but instead the personal glory of naming something. The expense of like 90% of drugs in the west comes from syndication in their manufacturing processes rather than any actual rarity. For example, shrekli's ridiculously price hiked drug was syndicated within the US but is capable of being produced in a country safe from US copyright law (China) for a little under 30$. Medicine is, by and large cheap once the facilities are in place and the development is complete. However, the rules of supply and demand allow the price to be raised pretty much ad infinitum. There is no situation in which someone is not willing to give everything to live.
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2017
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  3. Inferous

    Inferous Favourite Son Admin DiploGuard

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    Well I should probably post my response to ABDeL from discord.

    Drugs cost a lot of money to make, most of this money goes towards regulatory testing but still, it is expensive. The method by which our system returns on this investment is patents, which give a particular company the rights to be the sole benefactor of a product for a certain period of time. This is the case in all countries.

    However companies generally if they're not tiny spin-off research ones created to produce one drug, have a very long pipeline with multiple drugs at each stage in the R&D process. Early stages are relatively cheap compared to the double blind trials at the end.

    Making drug prices cheaper in the US doesn't make those drugs nonexistent, it doesn't even remove the profit motive in a properly managed system. Like cniper said earlier, the company from before, its own figures set a price at which it made a healthy profit and it increased the prices beyond this point. It still would have made that drug, but because of all the money spent on political influence the company is able to make even more money by extorting patients with the government turning a blind eye.

    In a system where those politicians aren't able to be bought the company still makes huge profits from its drugs and doesn't need to spend a healthy chunk of revenue on bribery.

    The number of people affected by illnesses can be a factor but in a properly subsidised system those drugs are still produced and in the R&D pipeline alongside drugs with a wider market, this has always happened since the boom in drug development in the 50s.

    Drug development is expensive insofar as it requires funding for basic research, then targeted commercial research to realise a particular drug but these things happen in other countries too. Just because the US produces the largest amount of drugs doesn't mean that you're subsidising the rest of the world, you're just subsidising your politicians' salaries. Plenty of Australian and European biotechnology companies develop niche drugs for market and are sufficiently motivated to develop more.

    Lastly I think a proper insurance system would provide a service wherein those unfortunate enough to be afflicted by a rare as opposed to a common disease wouldn't be forced to live with constant extortion for that inequity.
     
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  4. BurnTheNiceGuy

    BurnTheNiceGuy

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    Could the whole argument for and against be properly laid out so people who haven't seen the discord discussion would be able to follow this?

    Also, we have debates about this in my country (Denmark).

    I'll edit this post soon.

    Edit:

    Denmark has a governmental organisation that rules on what drugs that cost "too much" in relation to how many they save. This organisation is naturally often criticized, but the choice must be made at one point whether to care for the many or the few.
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2017
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  5. CNiper

    CNiper Join us on Steam! Admin DiploGuard

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    Check this gem out, by none other than our friend Martin Shkreli

    http://www.pharmaskeletons.com/

    I've also invited him to this thread. I see only good things to come of this.
     
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  6. Ser_Fergus

    Ser_Fergus Knight of the DiploGuard

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    Uhh, explain further?
     
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