April 2005

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Your post presents an erudite and logical argument and I'm convinced. However, you may want to consider striking it as source material for campaign slogans when you run for political office.


The drug companies spend about half their budget on marketing. Another big chunk goes to making useless drugs that are a knockoff of an existing generic or brand drug to cash in on a lucrative market sector. (such as impotence drugs). This adds up to many, many billions that could be better spent making actually useful products like these. Further, does each Monoclonal antibody require a full spectrum of trials and studies and years of time? Even if a new variant is almost exactly the same as an old one and with quick testing can be shown to cause no possible harm? If that is the case, here's even more billions of dollars to throw into useful products. Drug companies with patented medications should be regulated in what they can do with the profits from these medications. They should only be able to spend the profits for maximum of 15-20% annual return for shareholder capital costs and on R&D for new and failed drugs, not on marketing.

If drug prices were increased further, most of the money would go towards marketing, management options, shareholder profits, and so forth. Worse, these high end drugs you are talking about only help the sickest among us who usually cannot possibly afford them (who can, if they have cancer?), and so the money has to be public funds. This makes the imperative - to regulate what drug companies can do with the profits from patented drug- all the more obvious.


We need governments paying for more research so that drug companies can reduce prices!


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