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Thread: Drug costs and loony left

  1. #1
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    Drug costs and loony left

    Is there anything that Corbyn knows anything about? Other than the cotnent of Marx, and the history of socialist thugs and dictators? I noticed him attacking the "greed of the drug companies" based on his zero knowledge of any subject (other than palestinian bombers). His tirade was about Orkambi, and the refusal of vertex to entertain an offer for the drug which would be an existential threat to the company if accepted. NHS offering one tenth of the dose price!

    Meanwhile in the real world.
    1/ Over regulation makes drug testing and licensing prohibitively expensive.
    So It costs $50-$100 million typical order just to put a drug through regulation stages however small the affected population of the condition it treats. The overall cost is a multiplier the cost of regulation alone.
    2/ The patent life is pitiful. Of the 15 years allowed before generics can be produced, much of it is eaten up with the 5-7 year development and regulation cycle. So the cost has to be amortized over a very short period. Double the protection could half the price.
    3/ Most drugs fail.So most drug companies fail. So every profitable drug must support even five to ten that fall by the wayside, failing in either efficacy, safety or commercial potential, so a successful drug must bring in billions not just to cover the cost of that one drug, but all the failures too.
    4/ The problem is for conditions that have limited scope affecting only thousands of people the same costs have to be amortized over a tiny group of patients. A billion cost divided by 10000 patients is £100000 per person! That is before the company pays other eyewatering costs, and there is always the risk that another drug will make it redundant only two years later.

    A lot of this is variable, so the above is illustrative not average. But The inevitable effect of all this, is that doses for small indictions can have a five figure price tag, for the company just to break even.


    Yet as always politicians do all the wrong things in trying to be "popular".
    -They preach More regulation, giving drug companies no immunity from unlimited damages if things go wrong. It is a very uncertain business. You cannot predict the adverse effects on a huge population without massive and even more expensive trials.
    -They preach shorter patent life, thinking this will allow generics quicker. All it does is make the originator product doses more expensive.
    -Meanwhile they pillory drug companies and demand drugs are sold cheaper when it is their decisions that make them expensive.
    Doctors are lauded by the public, but the reality is they are obliged to work in a strict framework of protocols for products and procedures that are already tested and known to work. The drug companies have a far harder time both in technical knowledge needed to push boundaries and having to take far greater risks.Yet they are hated by the public because of incessant attacks by politicians.

    The reality is thatthe ONLY reason there are no new antibiotics, is that the techncial, pricing and regulatory hurdles are so high no pharma company can take the risk. So be careful what you wish for, in lowering drug prices.

    What a lovely place to be as a politician. Qualifications none.. Protection from prosecutuion from screw ups none. Permission to be a serial liar, ask Corbyn with the manifesto. Gold plated excessive pensions that mean they will never be victim to their own decisions on the economy that affect everyone else.

    How do I know? Much of our income in recent years has come from a pharma development company we set up almost two decades ago, intimately involved in new drug due diligence and regulation. Thats why it matters to me.

  2. #2
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    Finally a thread on which I can agree (somewhat) with Oracle.

    Although I'd point the finger at all politicians not just the left. Whenever politicians berate pharma for making money from drugs, I ask the question: what't the alternative?

    It's an ongoing debate regarding over or under-regulation. There have been many scandals that have led to the misuse of drugs, which is why the regulatory hurdles are so high now. It's a balancing act. If you ask people are patented drugs too expensive - they'd answer "yes". If you ask should regulations on drugs be relaxed people will say "no". But you're right: the latter drives the former.
    No longer "resting"

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by noel View Post
    Finally a thread on which I can agree (somewhat) with Oracle.

    Although I'd point the finger at all politicians not just the left. Whenever politicians berate pharma for making money from drugs, I ask the question: what't the alternative?

    It's an ongoing debate regarding over or under-regulation. There have been many scandals that have led to the misuse of drugs, which is why the regulatory hurdles are so high now. It's a balancing act. If you ask people are patented drugs too expensive - they'd answer "yes". If you ask should regulations on drugs be relaxed people will say "no". But you're right: the latter drives the former.
    It is not just regulation. But that is ludicrous: in the US the full nationality mix needs to be represented which gives horrendous problems even finding subjects for phase 3 trials for products for even minority use. Phase 3 often costs 100 million just by itself. If you were a pregnant mother , would you sign up for a trial that may or may not affect your baby?

    It is also too short patent life: that is a massive hindrance to development.

    But it is primarily the left that considers profit a bad word. In the US hilary clinton single handedly destroyed pharma share prices by announcing yet another attack on the industry. Which is galling when at the time we had a lot of money tied up in share options.

    I would like to ask both clinton and corbyn whether they would stick their hands their pockets for a 7 figure sum just to start a project, knowing it only has 5 percent chance of making it. Of course neither of them would, they just want the benefits of those who do so, and then to steal the result..

    All these commentators do is look at dose prices complaining about monopolies, with complete disregard to allow for the failure rate which demands a company makes several, if not many times what most would consider reasonable profit, because of all the investments it has to make which will fail.

    They also Attackanimal testing, and then berate pharma when trials on people go wrong. Society has to decide what it wants. It cannot have drugs without casualties: and provided they follow best practice, they should be sheltered from the liability of failure.

    We are now in a position where it is more or less a non starter to develop drugs for minor conditions. So much so there has been a patent cliff for generics. Many companies resorted only to developing generics once patents expired, or more variants of proven products. But because the industry was already unwilling to develop originator product cost and failure rates, there are already too few patents so there are now no patents to copy..

    We are seriously at a position where new antibiotics are not being developed just because it is uneconomic to do it.

    The miracle workers of medical science are pharma. Yet credit always goes to those who prescribe the products when already determined safe. And pharma are routinely attacked!

    Anyway thankfully we have sold most of the options, and are pulling down the shutters,and going off to enjoy ourselves!

    In this case Corbyn is berating the drug company for not accepting ONE TENTH of the advertised price of the drug! I aks him: would he accept one tenth of his salary? How dare the NHS low ball the company?
    Last edited by Oracle; 05-06-2019 at 02:13 PM.

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