If the ethics of practicing medicine are to focus on the benefit of humanity at large, why are Big Pharma , biotech companies, and universities allowed to maintain long-held patents for ridiculous profits which often prevent people from being able to afford proper treatment of illnesses and conditions?
Because they fund the research to discover the medicines in the first place. Make them all free and medical research will grind almost to a halt.
Great! We are extremely fortunate to have these researchers who develop life-saving medicines and devices. I've no problem with paying them well for the discovery and even paying small percentages of profits, but why the extended patents ( 20 yrs from development stages) and exclusivity that make them unaffordable to many? I object to the monopoly aspect.
How long a period would you give them, and how much profit in that period?
Remember, it costs millions and millions to produce a new drug, and all that must be paid back, plus a reasonable profit for the risk taken, before the patent runs out. Are you willing to triple or quadruple the cost of an already expensive drug?
I have no problem with them turning a profit. I have a problem with the govt. bedding Big Pharma, as Obamacare does, and then restricting other types of healing. If someone doesn't want to shell out the bucks for a Rx, they should have the right to seek help elsewhere. But suppose they go to the local herbalist, witch doctor or whomever...that person is acting against the law if they give the seeker an herbal potion. Practicing medicine without a license, they call it.
Sure, some restrictions are in order, but when the govt. intentionally stacks the deck in favor of Big Pharma, it reduces the rights of the average citizen to seek alternate treatments that might not be mainstream.
From my understanding, this topic is about "medical plants" and whether it's okay for pharma companies to restrict their usage. Because the companies often get their information for testing from old herbalist knowledge (to start), if a person wants to produce the same combination of herbs - who is to say it violates a patent?
How can a patent on common knowledge be enforceable?
Seems to me that the "restrictions" and "stacking the deck" that you reference are, plain and simple, the massive and extensive testing required by law to bring a drug to market.
We have decided that we want our drugs to be as foolproof as possible; to both do what they are designed to do AND to do it with as few side effects as possible. Whether you agree with that philosophy or not, it's what the public wants.
Would you then stack the deck in favor of the herbalist, claiming that this herb or that will heal an illness without ever testing it because that takes time and money? On Pawn Stars the other day, some guy brought in a device to shock the patient - that was supposed to heal a whole variety of ailments. Is that what you want to allow without testing? Or the one that intentionally poisoned the patient with radioactives, again as a cure for dozens of illnesses?
We require testing for very good reasons; let's not throw that away because somebody with an herb garden in the back yard wants to make money from it.
I understand your concern and appreciate your desire to see herbal remedies get more credit for their healing capabilities. That being said, I still want the FDA oversight. Drugs still show up from other countries in contaminated batches, and herbs can be toxic in the wrong amounts or combinations. The wait for approval does drive me nuts at times, but I know the reasons for delays are to insure safety to the consumer. I think alternative healing w/ Chinese herbs and even medical marijuana should be a legal and valid mainstream alternative w/o patents but still with FDA oversight.
I agree, but there is a problem. That FDA oversight is costly in the extreme, and few alternative healers could even begin to afford it. It's why our drug costs are so often out of sight.
Sadly, the FDA is understaffed and overworked, and reform is unlikely at this point w/ limited federal funds. Yes, herbalists and practitioners of alternative medicine must tread very carefully approaching their crafts more as educators than healers. I have always looked forward to the day when truly "blended medicine" becomes the norm. Although drug companies can pay fees to the FDA to help pass approval sooner through the hiring of more researchers, this is may not be fiscally feasible for herbalists as you've already stated.
I think that's true, Wilderness, I doubt many, if any, small alternative healers could afford FDA approval. But that puts Big Pharma at a distinct advantage. And while the monetary advantage has obvious perks to the public, in the form of new meds, a lot of research is going on in state universities and small research firms that apply for and receive federal grants and private funding.
The taxpayers fund a lot of research, so should the taxpayers get something in return? The FDA is funded by the taxpayers. We all want safe and effective medications. Clinical trials performed at universities are often funded by taxpayers and private grants.
Herbalists are using remedies that are centuries old in many cases. Some are probably not effective - others might be. That's not the point. The point is - the American public has a "right" to seek out herbal remedies and bypass Rx med. Big Pharma is fighting, and to some extent, succeeding, in taking away that right.
Big Pharma was behind a huge push to make HPV vaccines mandatory, despite no long term testing. The vaccines run into the hundreds of dollars, they're controversial, and yet there were those wanting to force teens to get the shots.
The push failed, because we still have a few (very few) lawmakers with common sense, but it might not fail next time.
I understand that many people hang on the words of their doctors and believe that Rx meds are the only things keeping them alive. To each their own. It's when they start encroaching on the rights of others that we better sit up and take notice.
Great comments, Howard. The problem is that natural products are not patentable and therefore cannot get FDA approval because of the expense., so doctors will continue to ignore their value. We really need another unbiased and less costly approval process for these substances that will allow them equal status w/ Big Pharma drugs. Hell may freeze over before we see the day As for innovative new drugs, I will always ask my doctor for the tried and true old ones unless they are no longer working and can't be boosted. Fortunately, I am not in need of prescription meds and will stave off their use as long as possible w/ a healthy lifestyle, herbal remedies, and nutritional supplements when needed.
If I write a book I get copyright. If they invent a new drug they get a patent. They also have to do the 99% of studies that fail to invent a new drug. that is why the ones they do find have to earn the shitload of money.
That's actually incorrect. I think you'll find that the majority of the studies are not done by pharmaceutical companies.
For example, let's look at elderberry, one of few herbs actually tested.
The study indicates that elderberry has shown a positive effect on treating influenza, and it might be beneficial for cancer and AIDS patients. But, long before that study, people used elderberry to cure flu and cold symptoms.
If you know that - and we have an H1N1 outbreak and Tamiflu is in short supply, which is what has been predicted, would you want to find some elderberry extract?
The problem is - the FDA doesn't want you to know about or seek that remedy. If you're a little herbal company, they are likely to shut you down for making statements that coincide with the results of the study.
http://www.fda.gov/ICECI/EnforcementAct … 214909.htm
Big Pharma will one day come along with an elderberry-based med, probably highly concentrated, and the FDA will likely approve it. Go ahead - give them a patent on their formula.
But the FDA can do that without shutting down the little people who gave Big Pharma the idea in the first place.
Since it involves our health - we should all have a right to seek out and buy anything we deem best for us.
If I got aids, would I want a chemical that people used a long time ago to treat the symptoms of the flue?
No, why would I, anymore than I would want to be bled nearly dry or swallow a radium solution? Our ancestors did a great many things to their bodies which we now recognize as contra-indicated for survival. That is not a reason to repeat the process - better that we do our studies and see if a proposed treatment is likely to be effective rather than rely on stories passed through a dozen generations.
From your link: "such studies and investigations in vitro, in vivo and in clinical trials need to be developed.". Let those studies happen and then ask if we should be taking the stuff for AIDS.
Until that time, go ahead and shut down herbal companies that attempt to confuse by such statements as "may help...", "might heal" or similar things, knowing full well that eating a car tire might help, too.
Well, you completely twisted my words there. I didn't insinuate that you would ask for a flu herb to treat AIDS. The clinical studies showed that Elderberry might be beneficial for enhancing immunity of AIDS patients.
I'm not advocating that you take elderberry to treat your AIDS. I'm simply citing studies that say it might be beneficial for enhancing the immunity of AIDS and cancer patients. You're free to do as you choose. I really don't want to have any control over what you think is good or not good. You're right that the herb should be more stringently tested. That's happening. But, you're wrong, in my opinion, when you advocate taking that choice away from those who might want it. It's simply not your (or my) business.
I don't care what drugs anyone takes. But I do care about a govt. so bent on control (for our own good, of course) that it restricts the health methods we choose for ourselves.
But I would ask you again whether the taxpayers should receive a benefit from the millions of dollars pumped into federal and state research funding and grants?
If you read into that study that the elderberry extract has a significant chance of being an effective treatment of AIDS then you fell into the spin cycle. It most certainly does not, and in fact clearly states that all the study shows is that clinical studies may be warranted.
Nor can I go along with requiring me (through the tax base) to pay for testing any and every wild herbal treatment thought up so some herbalist can legally sell something. If they want to sell them, they can test them for efficacy and side effects themselves.
OR we can bring back the snake oil salesmen of the past, pushing any and all "treatments" an agile brain can dream up without having a clue if it is useful, deadly or anything in between.
If you think I said, " elderberry extract has a significant chance of being an effective treatment of AIDS," then you're either not paying attention, or you're trying to deflect.
It's interesting that you don't want to pay (through taxes) to test "wild herbal treatments" yet you don't seem to care if the rest of us don't want to pay taxes to study drugs that line the pockets of Big Pharma. That's amazing really.
I can understand your not wanting to bring back the snake oil salesman. I can't quite understand why you're marching in lockstep behind an industry that produces products that kills more than 20,000 Americans every year.
Let's be clear here. I detest drugs, I fear drugs and I take very few drugs. I think drugs, while helpful in the medical field, need to be severely curtailed to maybe 1/10 of what they are now - I think the large majority of drugs taken are of no real value to the patient but mostly range from a placebo to actual harm.
So yes, I am very much against putting more and more drugs (whether called "herbs" or "meds") in front of a gullible population that is demonstrably incapable of making their own rational drug decisions without massive studies and testing.
So we agree on that at least.
I'm not in favor of putting anything "out there," I'm simply in favor of letting the American public make their own decisions. I read that NSAIDS, alone, were responsible for more than 16,000 deaths annually in the US, and that is just counting arthritis patients.
And NSAIDS have FDA backing.
Makes that snake oil look pretty harmless in comparison.
Yeah, some drugs kill. Drugs that have been through the FDA studies and testing. Care to guess how many deaths we would see with an additional 10,000 drugs being offered and advertised for sale without any testing? How many elderly widows would give up their life savings for a useless drug promoted as an arthritis cure?
The idea that "natural" herbs or other plants are not drugs and thus cannot hurt is ridiculous, as is the idea that some wild herb will always be better than a big pharma drug.
Yet the public has no way of knowing without those studies and tests. They are the only protection we have, and one that I find quite reasonable. You want to sell a herb, fine. Just don't promote it as useful for any healing properties unless you know it is, and that means testing it. Don't even promote it for human use unless you have very good reason to believe it is safe, and that means more tests, not "common sense" or old wives tales passed down through generations.
As far as NSAIDS go - you are aware that that includes aspirin, tylenol and ibuprofen? Probably the most commonly taken drugs in the world? That, concerning the 16,000 US deaths:
"This high mortality rate, however, is imprecise as it was calculated by extrapolation from a small number of actual deaths in the ARAMIS cohort." http://www.nature.com/ajg/journal/v100/ … 5305a.html
Don't believe everything you hear from the natural health crowd; they are as prone to lying and spinning as anyone else.
Who said natural herbs and plants are not drugs? I’m pretty sure I didn’t say that. And who had the idea that “some wild herb will always be better than a big Pharma drug?” Where are you coming up with these things?
I liked the way you tried to spin 16,000 deaths from NSAIDS as reasonable, when it’s anything but. The fact that NSAIDS are one of the most common drugs in the world is more reason to be concerned – not less. Only 16,000? Why, that’s just a drop in the hat. Collateral damage so to speak.
I agree that if someone wants to sell their herb (I don’t sell anything), they should not misrepresent it as safe or effective unless they know it to be so. Too bad the FDA system you trust with your life dropped the ball on Fen-Phen, Baycol, Vioxx and Bextra and god knows how many others.
Don’t believe all the hype coming from the Big Pharma crowd. In today’s drug-happy culture, I’m sure you’ll have a lot of people agreeing with you. You better make your appointment for you flu shot today. I heard they’re running short of immunizations this year.
16,000 deaths - out of how many uses? A billion? 5 billion? At that point 16,000 deaths is petty small - 0.0000032 of those taking the drug die from complications related to NSAIDS. A pretty safe drug considering that a fifth of that number die each year from taking water, but not something to be mentioned when discussing how terrible big pharma is.
So spin it for all you're worth and scream out "16,000 DEATHS!!" knowing full well that the number is far from accurate AND that it is insignificant when considering how many doses of NSAIDS are given each year.
Good - you think herb sellers should know it is both safe and effective just as I do. How to you propose they gain that knowledge? Ask grandma what she used for her cold?
I don't believe the hype from pharma companies any more than you do - that's why I use very few drugs (although I do use NSAIDS) and don't get the flu immunization even at 63 years of age. I believe that drugs are over prescribed by a factor of at least 10 and likely far more than that. I believe that about 1 out of several hundred kids diagnosed with ADD actually have a problem, for instance.
None of that means I would like to see herbalists free to push anything they want to. Which is all I've said, after all - regulate those people like any other drug retailer.
Wilderness, you might want to check your stats. There's not even half a billion people in the United States, much less 1 billion or 5 billion. It's difficult to discuss things with you when you keep throwing out crazy stuff. Where do you get this stuff? The 16,000 is a US stat.
Here you are, ranting about the evil dangers of herbs, when, in reality - prescription drugs pose a much greater risk.
From the CDC via ABC News:
" Dr. Leonard Paulozzi, medical epidemiologist at the CDC's division of unintentional injury prevention, said prescription drugs were driving up the death toll.
"There has been a dramatic increase in use of prescription drugs as physicians have become more liberal in prescribing them," said Paulozzi, adding that the bulk of drug-related deaths stems from accidental opioid painkiller overdoses. "And with the decrease in the motor vehicle crash mortality rate, drug-induced deaths have now passed motor vehicle crash deaths."
This is first time that drugs have caused more deaths than motor vehicle accidents since the government started tracking drug-related deaths in 1979. Bob Anderson, chief of the CDC's mortality statistic branch, said the swing is bittersweet. "
http://abcnews.go.com/Health/Drugs/drug … d=14554903
I only pointed out NSAIDS before because those are generally thought to be safe.
It's clear that you don't have a leg to stand on. You don't understand that prescription drugs present a bigger risk to our health than do herbs. You say you don't believe Big Pharma hype, but you sure sound like one of their mouthpieces.
Why can't you just relinquish your need to control everyone else and let them lead their own lives? When you are such a staunch backer of Big Pharma, you're backing the people who want to criminalize growing, selling and using herbs.
Meanwhile, you turn your head (and make up strange stats) when presented with the actual damage cause by the pharmaceutical industry.
And we haven't even touched the fact that a number of recent mass shooters were taking psychotropic drugs with known side effects of triggering violent episodes.
The very first sentence of the post you seem to be replying to:
"16,000 deaths - out of how many uses?" See that added bolding? It doesn't say "people" or "patients", it says "uses".
"Americans take 29 billion aspirin every year." (http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-3445_162-599346.html)
With 29 billion aspirins taken in the US each year, It would seem that my figure of 5 billion uses of all NSAIDS was a trifle low. Not ridiculously high, but low to the point of being but a small fraction of what is actually used! Tell me again about "making up stats"?
"You don't understand that prescription drugs present a bigger risk to our health than do herbs" I fully understand that. Is the reason for that being that herbs cannot now be sold as untested medical drugs? Take away that prohibition and will it surpass that Rx drugs deaths in a year with people selling anything at all as cure-alls?
Regardless of whether you think it will (do you think all "herbalists" are honest, especially after the removal of those legal limits?) are you willing to take the chance?
"Why can't you just relinquish your need to control everyone else and let them lead their own lives? When you are such a staunch backer of Big Pharma, you're backing the people who want to criminalize growing, selling and using herbs. "
Ordinarily I'm a huge fan of people being responsible for themselves. In the matter of drugs, however, I'm on the other side. People desperate for a cure will do anything, including shoving unknown chemicals down their throat just because "that nice man in the health store said it would cure me". This is one of the few places where people simply are not competent to make their own decisions. It's why we require a doctors Rx to get most drugs.
No, we want to criminalize the sales of chemicals promoted as medicine without FDA approval.
Wilderness, You say, “Ordinarily I'm a huge fan of people being responsible for themselves. In the matter of drugs, however, I'm on the other side. People desperate for a cure will do anything, including shoving unknown chemicals down their throat just because "that nice man in the health store said it would cure me". This is one of the few places where people simply are not competent to make their own decisions. It's why we require a doctors Rx to get most drugs.”
You’re drawing an arbitrary line in the sand here. A desperate person is still a person and who are you to say that they not be allowed to pursue every avenue if they choose to do so? Let them be responsible for themselves. If they want to pick seaweed and shove it in their ears – it’s simply not your business. It’s not the government’s business. This is taking the nanny state too far.
Some herbal concoctions are dangerous. It’s obviously not okay for someone to sell ricin so a guy can poison his wife. But you don’t need a whole slew of laws for that. It’s no different from a guy using rat poison to kill his wife.
I’m okay with the FDA not letting small herb sellers make claims of “cures” but that seller should be able to offer her herbs and provide common understanding of those herbs. There’s a MOUNTAIN of herbal information out there – from the Gale Encyclopedias to popular personas like Dr. Weil and Dr. Oz.
You’re like the gun-grabbers that want so badly to save innocents, that they advocate restricting honest citizens’ gun ownership. The use of herbs – and herbal remedies – is no different. Let big Pharma have their patents. But, don’t think the rest of the people need Big Brother to step in and tell them what they can use to stay healthy. They might get ripped off. If an herbalist is found to actually poison someone – we already have laws on the books to deal with that.
Since the NIH is also tax-payer funded and it gives grants to bio-tech scientists for the discovery of new remedies and cures, the research should also include the efficacy of herbal medicines. It should NOT be slanted toward Big Pharma just because they have more funds. Healing through medicines is for the good of humanity. That should be the focus NOT exclusive rights, monopolies, and profits. Unfortunately, money has become the incentive and Big Pharma will block others from getting a piece of their lucrative pie.
I'm sorry this discussion took a turn toward herbal remedies because your original topic is valid.
NIH funds drug research at nearly the same level that pharmaceutical companies fund research. There are smaller fundings, such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation as well, but the big two are pharma companies and NIH.
That indicates to me that the tax payers have as much invested in the research as the pharma companies do. The problem is that once a discovery is made, the pharma companies secure the patent and the profit.
What has happened to the taxpayer's financial interest?
I would say that the taxpayers deserve something for their money. Let the drug companies make their name-brand meds, but let the citizens, through the federal govt., have the right to the non-name generic version.
For all intents and purposes, the taxpayer is a non-compensated venture capitalist in this industry.
We will still have access to natural remedies, but we have to educate ourselves as to their use or else read between the lines when seeing herbalists who are not allowed to make "scientific" or qualitative claims of efficacy in treatments. Natural products are not patentable unless modified in some way. Unfortunately, even slight changes in molecular structure can have ill effects on our bodies which no longer recognize them. Think GMOs.
I agree with you Howard about the initial use of federal funds toward research. At one time, research was funded by the NIH and grants to universities and small biotech firms, but often the ball was dropped due to the lack of incentive (think money.) The outcomes of this research were still in the public domain until the passage of the Bayh-Dole Act in 1980. The Hatch-Waxman Act in 1984 gave a little push for the makers of generics, but it is still a tough road through the Big Pharma super highway.
btw: I only referenced the genetic modification of natural substances as an example of what would result to qualify as patentable. Thanks for commenting.
Yes, let's not blame the poor pharmaceuticals. They're just trying to make an honest living. Or perhaps "honest" isn't quite the right word.
"In 2010, researchers discovered that seven trials had been conducted testing [Reboxetine] against a placebo. Nothing unusual there. But only one trial, the one with positive results, had been published. That trial dealt with just 254 patients. The other six trials, which tested on over 2,000 people, all showed that the drug was no better than a placebo. The negative results never saw the light of day: the trials were not published."
http://www.thebureauinvestigates.com/bl … ur-health/
"Part of the case made by U.S. prosecutors that led to GlaxoSmithKline‘s $3 billion settlement today is that the company used a network of paid experts, speaking to doctors and to the press, to promote uses of its drugs that had not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. . . The government alleges that Pinsky was paid a total of $275,000 over just two months – March and April 1999 – to deliver messages about Wellbutrin SR, a Glaxo antidepressant, “in settings where it did not appear that Dr. Pinsky was speaking for GSK."
Edit: this case resulted in a $3 fine after Justice department took GSK to court for illegal marketing and failing to report drug safety data.
http://www.forbes.com/sites/matthewherp … epressant/
But that's okay, as long as they get to recoup their "shitload of money", doesn't matter what they have to do yo get it.
This is a blatant example of greed corrupting ethics, and specifically why I don't like the large financial incentives of approved drugs. Yes, a brand new innovative drug, not reconfigured formulations, cost approx. 1 billion from start to finish. There has to be a recoup of expenses plus some profit, but let's be reasonable!
In 1982 there was a proposal to allow the release of incompletely tested drugs for life-threatening conditions or those with no effective alternatives. A bill was passed in 1987. It allowed for the accelerated FDA approval of certain drugs IF the drug company could verify their clinical benefits. Reboxetine, in a era of SSRI anti-depressants which selectively targeted serotonin, was designed to target norepinephrine in a selective way UNLIKE anything else at the time. This selective norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor ,SNRI, professed to treat depression without the side effects of drowsiness, loss of libido, nausea, dizziness, etc. It was given accelerated status based on positive tests in the lab , but failed in the European market where it was allowed to be used. It was later discovered that other unfavorable clinical trial results had been withheld.
Standards should NEVER be relaxed, certainly not for monetary gain. In the event of life-threatening conditions, patients can sign up for clinical trials at their own risks. Incompletely tested drugs should not be approved for release anywhere in the world until their safety is clearly known.
You are correct. I don't know what the profit margins are, so I have no idea what should be paid to the developers of new drugs. I am aware though of the multi millions in research costs and understand the legal ramifications in spite of all the drug disclaimers. I also know that the same drugs are cheaper anywhere else in the world. Pharmaceutical companies spent nearly 32 million in campaign/committee contributions in 2010-11. Big Pharma and biotech industries spent 700 million in lobbying Washington between 2009-11. It has been recently reported in the British Journal of Medicine that self-promotion costs now exceed those of research by 19:1. Most new drugs are tweaked versions of older formulations.
I've sat in doctor's offices watching and listening to throngs of pharmaceutical reps giving away weekend getaways and perks in exchange for attending a 3 hr. seminar. Samples of new drugs are given out by docs w/ no discussion of pros and cons.. A patient may start on these "feebies" not realizing the high cost of the inevitable prescription which has a 10 year patent and no generic counterpart.
If Pharm companies lobby/spend at a 19:1 ratio and lobbied with 32 million, that means the industry spent less than 2 million on research and development last year. I think your figures need a little work to be believable.
As far as ending lobbying that will help the poor, probably best to end the farm/food lobby work. It is by far the largest in the country.
Whether drugs are tweaked versions of older ones or not, it still requires huge amounts of money to develop and test, let alone cover the liability of issuing any new drug.
You don't like drug companies advertising, especially through a seminar? How would you suggest they sell their product, then? Let each doctor google the best drug for each patient? It is necessary to educate doctors and it is necessary to have a sales force. I don't like either one, but it IS necessary in spite of that.
Drug companies give away drugs, yes. When I had cataract surgery done without insurance the Dr. gave me eyedrop samples; one bottle for each eye that would have cost a little over $100 each (I priced them). Can't say as I found much fault with that.
I just think that our drug companies are vilified for making a reasonable profit. Other countries do not always recognize our patents, which is why it is cheaper there and why our companies can't sell effectively overseas. Did you know that most of the world depends on the US for new drugs - that we develop far more new drugs than anyone else? Maybe because companies in other countries, that don't give long patents, can't afford to. At least that's the complaint I've heard (but never looked into).
The campaign contributions sited were given in 2010. Lobbying stats refer to 2009-11. The self-promotion stats are 2012-present when most "new" drugs are revamped versions rather than innovative ones. Nevertheless, they will have extended 20 yr. exclusivity. The industry also saw a big boost to its profits with the enactment of the Medicare Prescription Drug Act in 2006 because legislation doesn't allow for government negotiation. My figures are not skewed and come directly from respected scientific journals.
Seminars are a fine way for educated groups of people. It's the elitist perks for the hotels, fine dining, golf, massage, etc. that irks me. It's just one example of the bloated self-promotion budget that I feel is being funded by excessive drug pricing.. Another is the barrage of TV and magazine ads that are only legal here in the U.S. and New Zealand, God only knows how much these companies are spending to lift the ban on advertising in other global locales.
There are strict legal repercussions to giving away massages, hotel rooms and such. I rather doubt that it is anywhere near what you are projecting.
Yes, I am exaggerating. There are current limits in place where gifts are not to exceed $100; however, doctors are still being offered weekends at resorts in exchange for attending seminars.
You do understand that these "respected scientific journals", that are reporting not on science but on profits of drug companies, is claiming an industry wide R&D expenditure of under 2 million? And you believe it?
Psycheskinner, I'm not suggesting that drugs be free. I just object to the exclusivity that I feel harms the public interest. You point is well taken that medical research would grind to a halt w/o incentives. This is the reason the Bayh-Dole Act on patents was passed in 1980. The problem is that federally funded (tax-payer) research through the NIH was being given to universities and biotech firms who'd then hold the private patents . I think they should be in the public domain.
??? Did I miss something? I didn't cite advertising/promotion budget figures or total revenues. Look at the Annual Financial Reports for each company of interest.
Seems we have a discontinuity in communication.
Neither did I. I took your earlier post that self promotion vs R&D was 19:1 referred to lobbying in congress (topic of the prior sentence). You also said that 32 million was spent on that endeavor, from which I deduce that under 2 million was spent on R&D.
I probably misunderstood that and you meant 700 million in lobbying, but even that means only 35 million in R&D for the entire industry; a ludicrously low figure for such a research oriented industry.
1. Because Big Pharma, biotech companies and universities do not practice medicine.
2. Although you are claiming that every patent results in "ridiculous" profits, in truth you have no idea at all how much individual drugs earn the companies. Given the cost of producing a new drug, and the low percentage of drugs that ever go to market, those patents do not result in "ridiculous" profits at all. Drug companies operate on about the same profit margin other companies do; it should be obvious that profits are not "ridiculous".
Their profit margin is about 10% which is low for a very high risk industry with uncertain cashflow, and that save a lot of lives.
If the government of charities would support drug development maybe I would think differently. But they throw in only petty cash, and I want a cure for cancer and Parkinsons. So let them have their parties.
Wilderness...ouch. How can you have a name like "wilderness" and not uphold the value of what's found within it? Just because the clinical trials aren't there for you to read doesn't mean they don't exist...
Herbs are shunned by mainstream American; however, herbs and herbal teas are PRESCRIBED by many European countries. These herbs are recognized in parts of the Western world as having health benefits. The German Commssion E is a reliable source of the medicinal benefits of herbs.
Before you tell us the public has no way of knowing something, make sure we don't. The USDA and the FDA have far less information available to us on herbs than European sources. It's intentional censorship, so you have to be aware of it to get around it. Maybe now that you're aware, you can find some real information on the medical value of our healing herbs - the medicine granted to us from Earth (and her wilderness...) herself.
You seem to have difficulty between knowing a herb has benefits without negative side effects and believing it doesn't, based on grandma's tales.
Being "recognized in parts of the Western world" means almost nothing; radium, as a treatment for a dozen ailments, was too. http://www.museumofquackery.com/devices/radium.htm
From the Commission E: "However, herbs often rely on tradition and testimonials, not on extensive scientific testing". This is a problem for me. A testimonial from a dozen people, all pleased with the product and thinking it did something whether it did or not, is not worth even one clinical test. Yet it is usually more than needed to accept a herb as useful for a particular use. Although I cannot be sure, the commission E report seems to be compiled with such testimonials and is thus of limited use to anyone looking for more than that.
The vast majority of useful drugs come from nature with only slight processing. So do the drugs claimed to cure everything under the sun but that do nothing of value. Personally, I like to know the difference.
"You seem to have difficulty between knowing a herb has benefits without negative side effects and believing it doesn't, based on grandma's tales."
Nope, I don't have difficulty between these two at all. I KNOW an herb has benefits, and my Gramma never used any herbs. Stop discrediting that which you are simply not aware of.
I know because I research herbs that are proven effective, and why, because I DO blend and sell organic herbal teas for effect. For instance, Chamomile is a popular herbal remedy that has been used since ancient Egypt. It can be used as a tea, extract, capsule, poltice, cream, and bath soak amongst other uses to sooth skin, calm stomach and help achieve restful sleep. Why does it work? The US Dept of H&HS dismisses it's value explicitly, saying it is "not well studied in people so there is little evidence to support its use". We've used it for over 3,000 years...nobody bothered to ask "WHY does this work?". This just isn't interesting enough to study? Nobody paid attention to it's effects? Or they don't want you to know because you'd stop taking Valium and stop buying Pepto. Yeah. Turns out chamomile's constituents include Bisabolol, which helps burns heal faster under experimental conditions. Bisabolol is also shown to have antispasmodic and anti-inflammatory effects in animal lab tests. Chamomile's flavanoids like apigenin has been shown to prevent heart disease in high doses and also to calm stomach and to allieviate insomnia. In one study, it put 80% of patients awaiting a heart cath to sleep. I think I'll save the rest of my research for a hub. But please recognize that just because the info isn't readily available, or in some instances like the US Dept of H&HS told that it's NOT available, doesn't mean it isn't.
You KNOW that "Chamomile...helps...sooth skin, calm stomach and help achieve restful sleep".
How many people did you test to verify each claim? How many blind tests did you make, and what placebo's did you use in your tests? Say what? You took the word of the patient, without ever observing the process, that the Chamomile helps?
See, that isn't KNOWING anything at all, except that somebody says they got a good night's sleep. It's a major problem with herbalists; they commonly claim knowledge they don't have (and no I'm not picking on you specifically). The exact same way the snake oil salesmen of the old west did. So how do you tell which is which; which drug dealer has actual knowledge and which simply has something to sell? By using the FDA to regulate the testing processes; the FDA which will tell you it hasn't been tested even though it has been used for 3,000 years. And will tell you that because it hasn't been tested. Just used, maybe with an effect and maybe without.
No, see, I've offered you the SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE you claimed DIDN'T EXIST behind why an herb (in this case, Chamomile) works (what I was willing to give up in one post anyways). I KNOW it works because I've used it on myself, my friends, my family and children over the past 10 years and have sold it to dozens of people with a 100%, 5-star rating satisfaction feedback. I get how book info doesn't equate to personal knowledge, but I have offered you BOTH for the checkmate here.
I'm not getting into this any further with you. I'm infuriated at the HubPages community for being a bunch of naive know-it-all a**holes. Your beliefs or your skepticism do NOT make up for your lack of knowledge or ability to find it. These discussions aren't productive nor are they enjoyable - there's no reason to continue them anymore. I've given you the proof you need to swallow your words, everyone here can see that, I'm going to just have to let that be that.
Seriously, do you guys just come here to argue? What if you actually tried to LEARN something instead of just prove how RIGHT you are all the time?! I can't waste my time on this anymore. Way to be a friend and great HP company, you jerk.
Forums are for debate and not personal attack. Discussions can get contentious and are not for everybody. I jokingly tell my husband before posting, "I'm putting on my fire-retardant suit and chain-mail and going in!" haha. No one has to convert to the other's way of thinking, it is really all about making good points and best supporting your argument. Please, let's try not to personally attack one another. if the heat is too much, just walk away. Thanks!
I'm into progress, creating, and capability, not arguing for the sake of argument. These forums (and now the questions too) are turning into one big clusterf*ck of testosterone and ego. Who would choose to waste their time this way? Funny how my info, research and experience don't amount to anything but name calling gets attention. You're right, this is not for me.
I'm sorry. I really do appreciate your point of view. Thank you for posting your thoughts and comments.
Don't be sorry. Between today's jerk and yesterday's butth*le, I have to learn not to respond to people's misunderstandings of things, even when I have taken the time to conscientiously learn the answer and am excited to share it. Most of these responses aren't about learning, they're about arguing, and that's not my scene. Arguing distracts from anything worthwhile we could be doing now.
This was the first forum I ever posted in! Not a good experience at all - I won't be back.
Probably best, at least if you are unwilling to control your anger and language. Because if you won't, HP will. As has been noted, personal attacks and name calling are not permitted.
I guess that because you don't understand what proof or truth are, anyone questioning your "knowledge" is a jerk.
But that's OK. Just another voice on the net, without a clue as to what constitutes proof and truth. That thinks their opinion constitutes proof. That thinks because ignorant barbarians 3,000 years ago thought something was true that it must be. You're not the first I've seen and I'm sure you won't be the last.
So you have a nice day finding someone else to insult.
I gave you scientific evidence and personal experience. If neither of these constitute proof or truth, then you're right, I have no idea. Clearly my problem was with you questioning me, not your complete ignorance of the info I provided and your decision instead to turn the whole conversation into how you think I'm offended you didn't agree with my opinion, instead of discussing the info at hand.
I'm not sure where your accusations are coming from. They're entirely inaccurate. I didn't say people used it 3,000 years ago. I said people have been USING it for 3,000 years. That's 3,000 years of experience. You said I think my opinion constitutes proof. Please provide examples. You said I said anyone questioning my "knowledge" is a jerk. Please provide examples. You won't find any, because nothing I've written was based on my opinion. Sure I think chamomile great, but what I think doesn't belong in a discussion like this. Credible, citable facts only - that's all I offered was credible informtion. Seriously, you sound like your in an old fight with your ex wife or something...
Regardless, yeah, you're a jerk:
Jerk: (slang): Slang. a contemptibly naive, fatuous, foolish, or inconsequential person.
Proof enough for you? Or should I recount my personal experience with you...
"Just another voice on the net, without a clue as to what constitutes proof and truth."
No, I totally get it:
Proof (n.): the act of testing or making trial of anything; test; trial: to put a thing to the proof.
1. actuality or actual existence.
Even your assessment of ME is wrong. Ok, I have all I need to know your words aren't worth a bean.
Actually, Lee Tea, you'll be happy to learn that when someone finally DID get around to testing chamomile, they found that it had a modest soothing effect on anxiety.
Meanwhile, the FDA was passing Fen-Phen as safe.
Gee - glad we have that FDA around to watch out for us.
Thanks, I did know that, but your considerate post still made me feel better
Did you know Bayer, with approval.of the FDA, was allowed to sell HIV laden- injections to hemopheliacs in third world countries, infecting thousands, including children, with HIV? Meanwhile, a different version was sold here in the states.
Once the FDA began approving drugs who's side effects may include "death", they lost their purpose to me. I started gathering and researching my own info at that point. Can't trust no one, especially an impersonal company. Good lesson to learn.
That 1983 incident w/ the distribution of HIV tainted plasma when a safer version was available in the Western world is inexcusable and really did irreparable damage to the FDA's reputation of trust and ethics. Sadly, listing death as a possible side-effect of an approved drug is necessary because it is a rare but possible outcome of anything including herbs. One size does not fit all in a world of differing metabolisms and conditions.
I have learned from my own experience that herbal teas, including chamomile, work really well. Bach's Rescue Remedy flower extract formula is great for calming my tension and anxiety. Arnica crème and capsaisin soothe my arthritis pain. Ginger works well when I'm queasy too. Marijuana can reduce eye pressure in glaucoma and can help to stimulate appetite and boost mood in very ill people. I've seen it.
The problem is that the FDA doesn't want to expend the time on what they see as folkloric cures even though aspirin comes from willow (salix), digitalis comes from foxglove, and so many other now mainstream treatments come from botanical sources. All being said, I STILL think there needs to be standards for consumer safety through clinical trials. Each person can react differently, dosages need to be consistent for dispensing drugs, and most importantly, one needs to know about dangerous interactions and contraindications.
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