Name that drug

While we have a healthy skepticism toward the pharmaceutical industry, former Obama adviser Ezekiel Emanuel’s attack in the New York Times on Big Pharma for not selling cancer drugs because they can’t make any money is long on accusation but short on facts:

The sad fact is, there are plenty of newer brand-name cancer drugs that do not cure anyone, but just extend life for a few months, at costs of up to $90,000 per patient. Only the older but curative cancer drugs — drugs that can cost as little as $3 per dose — have become unavailable. Most of these drugs have no substitutes, but, crazy as it seems, in some cases these shortages are forcing doctors to use brand-name drugs at more than 100 times the cost.

We sure would like to know what “curative” drugs he’s got in mind. We aren’t aware of any drugs that “cure” cancer. And if Big Pharma has stopped selling cheap drugs that don’t work, well, what’s the problem? They don’t work.

10 thoughts on “Name that drug”

  1. Not being a fan of pharmaceuticals or oil companies, I always get my prescriptions filled the same place I get my motorcycle gassed up: the United States Post Office. LOL

  2. I should add that i am neither an advocate of Obama and his advisers, nor of Fox New, yet I found that particular article to be worth reading.

  3. I have an advantage on most of you I think, because I grew up when the doctor we went to would also do house calls. He was able to share an office with another doctor and i know his wife was his nurse and also helped run the office I presume doing billing, making calls, etc. The other doctor who shared the waiting room and office space also had (I think it was his wife but I am not sure) his wife share duties and the two nurses would take turns being receptionist and nurse for both doctors.
    This is far different than the way it is now where my doctor had at least 4 other persons (maybe even 5) who were necessary for him to run his office. I am sure most of the extra people were there to do only paper work which is necessary because most all of us have health insurance, unlike the way it was in the 1950’s.
    I know there are more tests to run and I would figure my old doctors office would now probably need 3 people to run it properly, but certainly not the 8-10 who would be necessary now.
    I am not dumb; I don’t expect my doctor or any nurse or hospital to treat me for nothing. I know that most people in my childhood days had only major medical insurance and did not incur bills so huge normally that it would break them.
    I think it immoral for insurance companies to be taking 10 – 20% of what ever it may cost for treatments and make huge profits on the misfortune of others. It is just my Christianity that makes me feel it is so wrong.

  4. electroken – it seems to me you and those that think like you have a business opportunity AND your opportunity can be ‘for profit’ or ‘not for profit’ – you can start your own health care business…

    You see, I have NEVER understood words from people like you when you say ‘the health system’ as a locked system with no ability for any sole proprietor, LLC etc to get INTO THE GAME…

    If its that important to you, START YOUR BUSINESS… otherwise, shut up about how others run theirs…

  5. Electroken. A laudible goal you have, treating people without regard to finances. A goal only in our imperfect world. A hospital needs to pay its people. You cannot ask people to give up their livelihoods to treat others. Not everyone can be a monk.

    As for Burzynski, all the FDA wanted was to conduct proper clinical trials before treating patients. There are valid criticisms that the FDA is too slow. However, Burzynski didn’t wait for approval or even attempt to do comprehensive trials until after he was convicted of billing insurance companies for unapproved medicine (1998, before his phase 1 studies were even completed). Please research Thalidomide and any number of medical horror stories and then think very carefully about whether we give someone a free pass for administering drugs more than a decade before approval.

  6. You would do well to check into what Google has to say about Dr Burzynski and his fight with the FDA in which he prevailed a number of times when they tried to prevent him from using the cure he has demonstrated as working to cure some of the worst cancers. He has been vindicated a number of times and there is a movie about him. It is high time that every way of treating a disease or condition is investigated and tested without regard to how much money can be made from using it. What happened to the idea that the health system was there to heal us? One pundunt has labeled it the death care system and he is mostly correct in my opinion.
    I find that the answer is usually found by following the money trail. This country will cease to be what it once was when corporations are finally given total control over us. It is not far into the future where I can see that as a fact. They already dicatate almost everything to a willing congress. I am glad I am over 70 now and have a lot less time left to find out what it will be like to live under that oppression.

  7. The article seems to be more of a criticism of the unintended consequence of capping increases on drug prices than it is of the pharmaceutical industry in general. This is a by-product of the Bush prescription drug bill. When drugs become generic their price drops dramatically as other producers start making it and fight for market share. But shortages are occurring because price increases are capped at 6%. In a free market when demand outstrips production … prices rise … which is an incentive for other makers to enter the market … which would increase supply and lower prices. Prices can’t rise … makers are standing on the sidelines because they can’t make a profit and shortages are occurring. Government intervention in markets is creating shortages where they shouldn’t exist.

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