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[AFF] Medication Cost Aff

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So...

 

ive got this idea for an aff, there is alot of lit about it too, but im not sure if its too effectual

 

 

so there is alot of evidence that proves that aids could be drasticlly reduced if it costed less to be treated

 

The high cost is due to the drug companies holding patents that are protected at all costs

 

the Plan is to eliminate these patents on aids meds

 

this would allow for everyone with aids to be effectively treated with the current medications

 

the advantages i can see are aids, but also racism as drug companies are less interested in helping the peoplw who actually need it, but those who will pay most for it, which is exclusionary to lower socio economic classes (all of africa)

 

 

dunno theres a good article on nexis about this:

 

 

 

here it is

 

 

 

 

EDIT I trimmed down the article substantially, since it's incredibly long and dominating the thread. I left the introduction, conclusion, and section headings. If you would like the entire article, send me a message and I'll send it to you. -Tomak

 

LENGTH: 18768 words

 

ARTICLE: The Structural Power of Strong Pharmaceutical Patent Protection in U.S. Foreign Policy

 

NAME: James Thuo Gathii*

 

BIO: * Assistant Professor, Albany Law School. This paper was originally presented at the University of Iowa College of Law, for The Journal of Gender, Race and Justice's 7th Annual symposium titled: "American Presence Abroad: U.S. Foreign Policy and Its Implications for Gender, Race and Justice," October 25th and 26th, 2002. I would like to thank my wife Muthoni and our sons Gathii and Mwangi for their unwavering love and support. I would also like to thank Robert Emery, Mary Wood and Linda Murray for their help. To Oko Akwei and Kohei Higo, thanks for your excellent research assistance and to the editors of this journal for all their marvelous help. I dedicate this article to Agnes Njoki Kirera.

 

SUMMARY:

... There are two distinct, albeit mutually reinforcing, stances within U.S. foreign policy on HIV/AIDS. ... In addition to distancing the relationship between strong pharmaceutical patent protection and access to essential drugs by highlighting the more appealing image of the United States as a major benefactor of the global campaign against HIV/AIDS, U.S. foreign policy on HIV/AIDS has turned to poverty in sub-Saharan Africa as a major explanatory factor to account for the extremely low level of access to antiretroviral drugs on patents to treat the disease. ... Finally, in Part III, I contextualize the emergence of poverty as the major barrier to access of HIV/AIDS drugs within the U.S.'s policy of strong patent protection. ... Even in the domestic context, prescription or brand name drug consumers often pay a premium on drugs directly related not only to the U.S. government's policy of strong patent protection, but also to the conduct of the pharmaceutical industry as well. ... In his 2003 State of the Union address to Congress, President Bush announced an unprecedented initiative on the part of the United States to support the global effort to combat the HIV/AIDS pandemic. ... Yet, the policy of strong patent protection prevents widespread access of antiretroviral drugs to treat HIV/AIDS. ...

 

HIGHLIGHT: [*267]

 

 

 

While the Chief Justice's dissent says there are "weapons [such as cartels or boycotts] in the arsenals of foreign nations' sufficient to enable them to counter anticompetitive conduct ... such ... political remed[ies are] hardly available to a foreign nation faced with the monopolistic control of the supply of medicines needed for the health and safety of its people.n1

 

TEXT:

I. Introduction

 

There are two distinct, albeit mutually reinforcing, stances within U.S. foreign policy on HIV/AIDS. The first of these stances favors strong international pharmaceutical patent protection, unencumbered by any restrictions, as the best alternative to ensuring availability of drugs to treat those infected with HIV/AIDS.n2 Unlike the first stance that is [*268] uncompromising in supporting patent protection, the second position is steeped in humanitarian gestures, such as extending U.S. assistance particularly in efforts to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS outside the United States. Strong patent protection is, however, the primary U.S. foreign policy position on how best to facilitate access to essential medicines under patents held by U.S. and western pharmaceutical corporations. In that sense, provisions of humanitarian assistance ought to be understood as the policy prescription most compatible with the non-negotiability of strong pharmaceutical patent protection.

 

My basic thesis in this paper is that the humanitarianism underlying U.S. assistance, particularly in preventing the spread of the HIV/AIDS pandemic around the world, plays a significant role in simultaneously disguising and legitimating the uncompromising support of the United States government for strong international pharmaceutical patent protection. Indeed, by loudly proclaiming its generosity, the United States manages to disguise the fact that its commitment to a strong regime of pharmaceutical patent protection has a lot to do with limiting access to antiretroviral drugs to large numbers of those infected with HIV/AIDS outside the United States.

 

In addition to distancing the relationship between strong pharmaceutical patent protection and access to essential drugs by highlighting the more appealing image of the United States as a major benefactor of the global campaign against HIV/AIDS, U.S. foreign policy on HIV/AIDS has turned to poverty in sub-Saharan Africa as a major explanatory factor to account for the extremely low level of access to antiretroviral drugs on patents to treat the disease. Increasing U.S. financial support to combat the spread of the pandemic, while simultaneously harping on the argument that Africans are too poor to afford antiretroviral drugs, plays particularly well to ward off criticism regarding the apparent harshness of U.S. support for strong patent protection.

 

Seen in this context, I argue that U.S. policy is moving in the direction of de-linking or discrediting any association between strong patent protection and access to antiretroviral drugs for HIV/AIDS infected populations outside the United States. Placing a high premium on humanitarianism as the primary policy response to the pandemic in turn contributes to the invisibility of the link between strong patent protection and access to essential drugs. It is, therefore, my argument that while the humanitarianism that typifies U.S. foreign policy on HIV/AIDS and other life threatening diseases is important, U.S. support for a strong patent regime imposes huge barriers of access to patented antiretrovirals. Specifically, the strong protection of patents in the WTO's Trade Related Aspects of International Property Rights Agreement,n3 (TRIPS or the treaty hereinafter), [*269] stands in the way of enabling the treaty to be construed to permit governments to override it with a view to providing antiretrovirals drugs to thousands of Africans infected with HIV/AIDS.n4

 

To the extent that patents are therefore a barrier to access antiretrovirals, the TRIPS Agreement is no more than a form of structural power.n5 The United States, together with its coalition of western intellectual property exporting countries, exercises structural power because they prevailed in defining patent protection in the treaty in such a manner as to make antiretrovirals unaffordable and inaccessible to those that need them most. n6 The countries most afflicted by the HIV/AIDS pandemic do not have the wherewithal to undertake the research and development necessary to produce or even manufacture these much-needed drugs. In addition, these countries do not stand in the same position as the United States to be able to shape the international patent protection in a manner that enables them to facilitate affordable access to drugs produced elsewhere. n7 In particular, by defining patents exclusively in terms of the rights of patent holders while simultaneously limiting the obligations patent holders may have to consumers of patented products, as is the case in the U.S. domestic market, the TRIPS Agreement acts as a significant barrier limiting access to essential medicines under patent for countries that do not have the wherewithal to set the international intellectual property agenda like the United States.

 

Thus, by silencing alternative conceptions of intellectual property rights that balance the rights of patent holders with the obligations patent holders may have to consumers of patented products, which would work better to facilitate access to essential medicines, the law and foreign policy of strong patent protection reflects the relative ability of the United States to impose its will on less powerful countries. This often imperceptible asymmetrical exercise of power through law and policy inscribes outcomes of life and death for millions infected with HIV/AIDS outside the United States.n8 In my [*270] view, to sooth these outcomes, U.S. foreign policy has sought to downplay its crass commitment to strong patent protection while overplaying its magnanimity in providing humanitarian assistance particularly for efforts to prevent the spread of the HIV/AIDS crisis. In short, the discourse of charity and humanitarianism accompanying the uncompromising support of patents at any cost simply disguises the U.S.'s priorities in ensuring its multinational pharmaceutical companies acquire markets for their drugs without any threat to their profitability even in the face of heart-wrenching human need.

 

This paper also critically examines the efficacy of the claim that poverty is by far the most critical barrier to affordable antiretrovirals. While it is undoubtedly true that poverty is an integral barrier to affordable antiretrovirals, it is not an insuperable barrier. For example, as demonstrated in Part III, over the last five years or so, prices of antiretrovirals in sub-Saharan Africa have fallen by large margins, making them affordable to an increasing number of people. This also means that the funds devoted by donors and governments for treatment can benefit ever-increasing numbers of indigent HIV/AIDS patients. Besides, pricing of antiretrovirals particularly in East Africa is demonstrated to be governed less by the laws of the market than the laws of the jungle.n9 This further undermines the argument that poverty is an insuperable barrier of access to treatment. Ultimately, I claim that while poverty is an integral component to lack of access to affordable antiretrovirals, this in and of itself does not prove that patents are not integral to lack of access to affordable antiretrovirals. Both poverty and patents are integral parts of the limitations to access to affordable antiretrovirals.

 

This paper proceeds as follows: Part I begins by describing the rationale for strong support for patents in U.S. foreign policy and how this policy differs with the conception of patent protection within the United States. I argue that this view of patents has eclipsed into obscurity the view that patents also ought to be regarded as instruments of public policy giving their holders rights subject to certain conditions. In Part II, I attempt to discern where, if at all, access to HIV/AIDS drugs for indigent populations fits within the United State's national interests. I begin this inquiry by tracing Africa's place in U.S. foreign policy/national interest and then explore the engagement of the Clinton and Bush administrations in responding to increasing concern over the reluctance of the United States to support access to antiretrovirals in sub-Saharan Africa. Finally, in Part III, I contextualize the emergence of poverty as the major barrier to access of HIV/AIDS drugs within the U.S.'s policy of strong patent protection. I then proceed to critically examine the foregrounding of poverty and the distancing of patents [*271] in the continuing debate on access to antiretrovirals.

 

II. Part One: The Strong Patent Protection View Downplays the Fact that Patents Are Private Property Rights Subject to Similar Conditions as Any Trade Monopoly

 

III. Part II: The National Interest in United States Foreign Policy: Where Does Access to Essential Drugs For Africans with HIV/AIDS Fit, If at All?

 

A. The National Interest

 

B. Africa: Access to Essential Drugs and the National Interest

 

C. Access to Antiretroviral Drugs versus Prevention in U.S. Policy

 

1. African Oil versus the HIV/AIDS Pandemic in U.S. Policy

 

2. Pharmaceutical Company Profits versus AIDS Patients in U.S. Policy

 

3. Lobbying the U.S. for Greater Empathy Before President Bush's 2003 State of the Union Address

 

4. U.S. Support for Strong Patent Protection over Access to Essential Drugs at the WTO

 

D. Cipro and the Anthrax Scare: Testing U.S. Support for Strong Patent Protection at Home

 

IV. Part III: Poverty - The Latest Fad in the U.S.'s Policy of Strategic Ambiguity

 

A. The Discovery of Poverty: From the IIPE 2000 Study to the Attaran/Lee Gillespie 2001 Paper

 

B. Limits of the Gillespie-White/Attaran Poverty Thesis

 

V. Conclusions

 

By beating the drumbeat of poverty, pharmaceutical companies and Western governments, such as the United States, that are opposed to making exceptions to patent protection to facilitate access to HIV/AIDS drugs to indigent populations while arguing that this is consistent with the provisions of the TRIPS Agreement, have sought to marginalize the issue of access to antiretrovirals by suggesting that solutions lie largely outside the patent regime. In this context, the world can rest reassured that the thousands who die of HIV/AIDS every day in sub-Saharan Africa are dying because they are poor, not because they did not have access to drugs. Yet, the policy of strong patent protection prevents widespread access of antiretroviral drugs to treat HIV/AIDS.

 

Although the direct actions of HIV/AIDS activists targeted towards leading figures of both the Clinton and Bush administrations, and notwithstanding the organized efforts of a coalition of developing country governments at the WTO has led to more humanitarian assistance towards alleviating the pandemic, the policy of strong patent protection persists. I have argued that poverty is one of the latest fads that the Bush administration has begun to deploy, particularly at the WTO, with a view to distancing the extent to which patents bar access to essential drugs. I have further demonstrated that there are many reasons to be skeptical about the emphasis that poverty has received in identifying bottlenecks of access to antiretrovirals. A major reason for such skepticism is that the poverty fad distances the attention or focus on patents and pricing in Africa. This is most evidenced by the fact that although all the members of the WTO unanimously acceded to the passage of the Doha Declaration on TRIPS and Public Health,n291 which recognized that the TRIPS Agreement contemplates [*314] a balance between the rights and interests of consumers and producers of intellectual property rights, there is yet to be even one instance of a country in Africa utilizing this flexibility to facilitate access to affordable antiretrovirals, such as through compulsory licensing. This seems to strongly suggest that the U.S.'s view of strong patent protection supported by many TRIPS-plus sanctions, such as section 301, has transformed pharmaceutical patents into impregnable private property rights. That strong patent protection, therefore, seems to enjoy an unassailable persistence, even in the face of one of the most serious public health crises of the last century, in my view, reflects lopsidedness favoring pharmaceutical profits over the lives of millions of Africans dying without dignity unnecessarily.

 

The variety of ways in which patents have been removed from the equation of access to essential medicines, as exemplified in the inflexibility of the U.S.'s support of strong patent protection, reflects not only the asymmetrical nature of power in international relations, but also the structural power of strong patent protection on the most vulnerable populations of the global economy. The discourse of charity and humanitarianism accompanying the uncompromising support of patents at any cost simply disguises the U.S.'s priorities in ensuring that multinational pharmaceutical companies acquire markets for their drugs without any threat to their profitability, even in the face of heart-wrenching human need.

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its f-x, but could also mandate the distibution of these drugs, the Ptext could be like "make drugs free"

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its f-x, but could also mandate the distibution of these drugs, the Ptext could be like "make drugs free"

 

So your going to make drugs free for everyone in sub sahran Africa?

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no i am going to reduce the excluzive rights to the drugs from only these companies to companies interested in actually helping people

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The plan text could go something like, The U.S.F.G. should substaintially increse its public health assistance in sub saharan africa by eliminating patents on generic or perscription drugs causing a 40% decrease in the price.

 

Then give some solvency that could support it and you should be straight

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At the outset, please remember that many things have changed since 2002-2003; and then:

 

1. 1/3 of the people in SSA have an income of less than $1 a day, so simply "reducing" the cost of drug therapy is not likely to accomplish a whole lot.

 

2. A lot of governments in SSA already provide free drug treatment for the worst diseases (Malaria, TB, HIV).

 

3. Several drug companies (Merck, Pfizer) are trying to boost their public images by giving away drugs in SSA.

 

4. Private NGOs (including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation) are providing lots of $ for drugs to SSA.

 

5. About a year ago, Canada became the first country to start providing low-cost generic drugs to SSA, and their program is being expanded this year.

 

6. One of the cultural problems health workers have faced recently is that some people won't take free or low-cost drugs. Why? Because they're viewed as "worthless" or "demeaning" because they're being given away.

 

7. If people are taking drugs PO (by mouth) that means they need clean water; if they're taking drugs by injection they need trained personnel and clean syringes. Watch out for the "iatrogenic injuries" DA.

 

No doubt there are "answers" to all of these arguments, but forwarned is forarmed. :)

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i hope to god someone runs this case...

 

... so i can pimpslap it into oblivion.

 

people who claim that medicines are too pricey either are a) socialists/communists who want true equality or B) just blinded by reality while living in their own fantasyland.

 

next up, the pharmaceutical research scientist ankur, batting a 1.000!

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ankur, do you think a scenario for cases like this on taking away profit from the private sector killing private innovation trading off long-term with drug effectiveness for when the viruses mutate would be effective? or overly complicated?

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I read that an Camp in Kentucky is cutting a patent reform aff, so this maybe what u are talking about...

 

It's a little different from an aff to reduce drug prices. At present, the plan text is

 

"The United States federal government should amend section 102 of the US Patent Law to include indigenous knowledge as prior art and require absolute novelty for all patents. "

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extremely. there is no denying the economics of the situation. but the reality of the problem is that the average person does not understand the complexity behind pharmaceutical research. for example, lets say a pharmaceutical company right now declares to the public that they have 100 drugs in their clinical stage pipeline. in order for those 100 drugs to have been found, the company went through MILLIONS in early stages of research, from designing new compounds to extracting them from natural products and then testing them. do you know what kinds of costs are associated with that? now of those hundred, MAYBE ten will actually make it to market. take the cost of pre-clinical drugs and multiply it by forty or fifty or in some cases greater than 100 times as much - thats the cost of running clinical trials. of those 10 that make it to market, eight are small market drugs which may capture a 100 million dollar profit/year - only 10% of the total cost of bringing it to market (so net revenue = 0). only two will be blockbusters which will reap upwards 1 billion per year.

 

now what happens when your pipleine shrinks a little? or the FDA says that your drug causes a 4% increase risk of heartattacks in patients who already have severe arteriosclerosis and other cardiac problems... and your to-be-blockbuster suddenly gets denied. what happens when a drug like vioxx, which is only a problem because it was improperly prescribed by doctors to patients who were demanding their doctors give them vioxx is forced to be pulled from shelves and lawsuit costs range in the billions?

 

pharma companies NEED to generate billions in revenue simply because of the inevitable lean years which happen periodically. to get drugs from ground zero to market costs a billion dollars each (not including costs of the failed drugs) and takes ten to fifteen years to create and develop is COSTLY. if the pharma companies operated the way that all these egalitarian humanitarians want them to, they would all be out of buisness in five years.

 

and to make matters worse, the people are demanding reasons why a drug takes so long to get to market (esp for those who are suffering from illnesses which are potentially curable with those drugs in the pipeline)... and yet they want the FDA to scrutinize the companies more, which means that the FDA demands more studies, and longer studies and post-approval studies... all of which increase the cost and delay the launch! people are idiots.

 

but in a debate sense, there are honest to god BRINKS to the impacts... i have a card that literally says the NEXT early patent expiration from a developed country will result in the elimination of pharma R&D to the detriment of all health of all people in the future. its absurd.

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update: in response to thailands decision to permit local generic companies to overstep the patents held by abbott labs on an aids drug, abbott labs has decided to stop marketing its new drugs in thailand.

 

economics 101, people.

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to the unsigned neg repper who said the following:

 

You are seriously a pretentious ass. Why are you defending the crooked ass Pharmaceuticals when you should be questioning the validity of practicing eminent domain on patents that the gov will ultimately never use for the American public.

 

if you would like to have a back and forth on the issue, bring it. bring every weapon in your arsenal. dont hold back.

 

that is... assuming you have the self confidence to actually debate me on the issues.

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Okay, what about instead of elminating the patents, going for like a global subsidy or something? I've read a pretty good advocate for this in ACTs so that people don't feel compelled to use the useless chloroquine.

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subsidies are technically better because it doesnt deny the pharma companies their profits that they need in order to continue researching the drugs. but you are talking massive subsidies to get the job done. thats a huge budget breaker.

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but in a debate sense, there are honest to god BRINKS to the impacts... i have a card that literally says the NEXT early patent expiration from a developed country will result in the elimination of pharma R&D to the detriment of all health of all people in the future. its absurd.

 

Post it! Please?

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sorry. its from an internal press release. i cant release it until the company who wrote it releases it.

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We have the case at our camp already cut. I beat it with topicality. I agree with ankur, butt if anyone wants to run it, I can TRY to get it to them.

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I'm not really much for conspiracy theories, but after thinking about Ankur's post a bit.. since pharm co.'s need to turn profits on the durgs they produce and long term expensive drugs like NRTI's, NNRTI's, and PI's are an easy way to do this. Would it be in any Pharm. Co's intrest to find an actual cure to HIV/AID's. Just speaking in bottom line dollar terms with all ethical standards aside, which is how most companys opperate, why would they want to invest in a one time pill which could cure AID's when they could have people on three pills which need to be taken frequently? Ankur you seem to be an expert in this field, would such a pill be capable of turning a profit, or would it be like throwing money down the drain?

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I'm not really much for conspiracy theories, but after thinking about Ankur's post a bit.. since pharm co.'s need to turn profits on the durgs they produce and long term expensive drugs like NRTI's, NNRTI's, and PI's are an easy way to do this. Would it be in any Pharm. Co's intrest to find an actual cure to HIV/AID's. Just speaking in bottom line dollar terms with all ethical standards aside, which is how most companys opperate, why would they want to invest in a one time pill which could cure AID's when they could have people on three pills which need to be taken frequently? Ankur you seem to be an expert in this field, would such a pill be capable of turning a profit, or would it be like throwing money down the drain?

 

first of all, there is no such thing as a one-pill cure to aids. its biochemically impossible. you would need to take a pill about the size of a football to make that a real possibility.

 

second, as long as companies who manufacture drugs can set prices according to the economics of the marketplace, they will always find a financial incentive to conduct research and launch products which cure various ailments irrespective of what those ailments are. the problem is that countries are hijacking patents, tossing up maximum cost rules, etc. those kinds of policies are disincentives for research. the fact that abbott labs has pulled marketing their drugs from thailand should be a glaring example of what is happening in the industry because there is NO reason for abbott to do that unless they are failing to turn a profit in thailand. you dont see countries pulling patents on MRI machines do you? how about on desalination technology? what? does poor access to clean water not affect billions of people? pharmaceutical companies get a bad rep because they are in the business of saving lives. they have an ethical obligation to make sure that the drugs they market are safe and they have a huge financial incentive to ensure that (think multibillion dollar lawsuits). at the same time, for economic and ethical reasons, they try to get the drug out the door as quickly as professionally possible. and once a drug is marketed, the company continues studying the drug in the population, watches for potential problems and addresses them appropriately when determined necessary. i cant count how many drugs companies have voluntarily changed the labeling of their drugs when it was found that their drugs caused a certain side effect. the real problem isnt pharma - its people and doctors. doctors are trained in america that if a patient is not exhibiting the classic signs of drug-seeking behavior (as it would pertain to getting high like on pain meds etc), then the doctor should prescribe medicine to alleviate symptoms of disease. so the public demands drugs, and doctors prescribe them - knowing full well that not all drugs are meant for all people. vioxx was NOT meant for 90% of the people taking the drug. the people who it was supposed to be prescribed to are demanding the drug and not taking part in any lawsuits. its the people who shouldnt have been taking the drug that are suing.

 

third, if a company can find an honest to god cure to hiv, that would put them lightyears ahead of their competitors on curing other virus-caused diseases. a fact that probably 90% of americans dont realize is that in the history of man, we have never found an antidote to a viral infection - not one single drug/herb/plant/etc! being able to defeat HIV means that you have learned an enormous amount about retroviruses (and viruses in general) and begin to apply that knowledge to other ailments.

 

fourth, by curing aids, a company will receive immediate prestige, and be truly worthy of that honor. believe what you want about the industry, but i can promise you this, some of the pharmaceutical companies i have worked for have impressive company credos and their employees work in accordance to those credos. i forget when jnj came out with their credo, but it was soon after the tylenol problems they had back in the day. they put an end the practice of taking short cuts, and made an enormous commitment to cultivating a sense of responsibility to both the consumers but to the general public as well. it has worked well for them because people have a sense of mission at these companies.

 

the jnj credo:

We believe our first responsibility is to the doctors, nurses and patients,

to mothers and fathers and all others who use our products and services.

In meeting their needs everything we do must be of high quality.

We must constantly strive to reduce our costs

in order to maintain reasonable prices.

Customers' orders must be serviced promptly and accurately.

Our suppliers and distributors must have an opportunity

to make a fair profit.

 

We are responsible to our employees,

the men and women who work with us throughout the world.

Everyone must be considered as an individual.

We must respect their dignity and recognize their merit.

They must have a sense of security in their jobs.

Compensation must be fair and adequate,

and working conditions clean, orderly and safe.

We must be mindful of ways to help our employees fulfill

their family responsibilities.

Employees must feel free to make suggestions and complaints.

There must be equal opportunity for employment, development

and advancement for those qualified.

We must provide competent management,

and their actions must be just and ethical.

 

We are responsible to the communities in which we live and work

and to the world community as well.

We must be good citizens – support good works and charities

and bear our fair share of taxes.

We must encourage civic improvements and better health and education.

We must maintain in good order

the property we are privileged to use,

protecting the environment and natural resources.

 

Our final responsibility is to our stockholders.

Business must make a sound profit.

We must experiment with new ideas.

Research must be carried on, innovative programs developed

and mistakes paid for.

New equipment must be purchased, new facilities provided

and new products launched.

Reserves must be created to provide for adverse times.

When we operate according to these principles,

the stockholders should realize a fair return.

 

off the top of my head, i know a lot of people working in a lot of industries -

tech: GE, IBM, cisco, google, microsoft, agilent, texas instruments

pharma/biotech: jnj (many divisions), pfizer, astrazeneca, wyeth, amgen, merck, schering plough, bristol myers squibb, sanofi-aventis, glaxosmithkline, baxter

and some people working in renewable energy, defense weapons (lockheed, northrop grumman, etc),

finance - all of the big four, several smaller brokerages/investment houses, smith barney, meryl lynch, vanguard, etc (too long to count)

 

and i can promise you this much - the people working at pharma research have a genuine passion for what they do. they are working for less pay than the folks in all the other industries, and as a whole, they couldnt care because every single one of them wants to be part of the team that discovers a cure for a disease. pharma folks are more committed to doing a public service than anyone in any of the other industries. the other industries specifically identify profits as the bottom line. jnj's credo, the most visible of all pharma mission statements, clearly identifies the difference.

 

could pharma do more for the public? yes. but with the current regulatory state they are being boxed into, with governments prematurely crushing patent rights, its impossible. simple economics tells me that to find a cure for hiv will cost many billions - perhaps the most costly of all medications to date. and to pay for that research, it means that your cardio drugs, and diabetes drugs and everything else needs to be more expensive. its a fact of reality.

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I pruned out all the flaming, nonsense, and unproductive banter from this thread. I also truncated the gigantic article in the first post (if you need it, PM me). This is an important topic, and I want to see more discussion. Hopefully a cleanup will help.

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