This site is not maintained. Click here for the new website of Richard Dawkins.


← An Open Letter to Bill Maher on Vaccinations

Dr Benway's Avatar Jump to comment 236 by Dr Benway

Say what you want about Big Pharma, but one thing is for sure---it's profits before people with these guys.

I hate saying anything in defense of BigPharma. It's like asking for an ass kicking. *sigh*

Before settling into the emotionally satisfying David side of the David-Goliath story, remember that "these guys" includes just about everyone with a 401k plan. And remember that the profit motive is capitalism --generally felt to be a good thing by Western democracies, provided that there is some public oversight and regulation. Few companies are more regulated than those that make pharmaceuticals.

The government is looting drug manufacturers right now. The government is desperate for money.

I haven't read the details about Pfizer. But the case against Lilly some months ago for the off-label promotion of Zyprexa did not impress me. Lilly got in trouble for some promotional materials put out over about a 3-month period that mentioned how Zyprexa might be useful for elderly psychotic patients with loss of appetite. This is in fact true. Zyprexa does reduce psychotic symptoms and it also gives people the munchies. However there's no specific FDA approval for this indication.

Lilly broke the rules. They should be spanked for that. But they were more than spanked, they were raped to the tune of 2.4 billion.

I like the fact that the major pharmaceutical companies do science, real science. I also like that they help fund medical training directly and indirectly. The training is expensive. And it's good to learn from those doing research on the cutting edge.

I don't like the fact that drug companies may not publish negative results or might over-hype their data. However, I see these as fixable problems.

Now that taking money from BigPharma is uncool, med schools are taking money from the alties. Ergo, the woo fest of the now.

Rounding up the bad people will not save us, for we are the bad people. There are as many bastards working for the government as there are in industry. In fact, some of the most agenda-driven, shitty research I've read has been publicly funded.

And hey, where are my kickbacks? I never got none of those. *sniff*

Wed, 21 Oct 2009 12:25:00 UTC | #407254