6/19/2007

On Abbott...

An open letter to the people of Thailand, French AIDS activists, and all those who think Abbott Labs is terrible for actually charging people for it's products:

You're a bunch of idiots. By taking these actions against Abbott, you're actually hurting victims of AIDS. You see, Abbott Laboratories (and pretty much every other pharmaceutical company) is a business. That means they make products and attempts to sell them for a profit. Pharmaceutical companies were traditionally big money-makers, and they still are, but their profit margins are shrinking. You may think this is great, but it turns out to suck for those with AIDS.

You see, when profit margins shrink, R&D dollars shrink, too. That means fewer drugs will be developed, and the choice of which drugs to fund becomes more critical. So Abbott needs to decide: do we try to find a good drug to fight, for example, osteo-arthritis, or do we look for a drug to fight AIDS? Hmmm... one of these will target a growing and profitable market of the 'aged', the other will target a market that is increasingly overseas and low-income. Now a company might decide to try for the AIDS drug anyway. Developing a successful AIDS drug brings prestige, and the market in developed nations is still strong. But if offering an AIDS drug becomes a liability, there is little incentive to develop such a drug.

Perhaps the idiots, once they've successfully stopped capitalist experimentation on AIDS drugs, will start their own non-profit pharmaceutical company. Perhaps they'll sink their life-savings into a research co-op and find a cure for AIDS which they'll then distribute for free to the world. But I doubt it.
PS: This is a personal diatribe. It reflects only my opinion, and does not necessarily represent the opinion of my planet, nation, state, village, industry, employer, insurance company, favorite cereal manufacturer or any other organization to which my feelings might be attributed.

1 comment:

BA said...

I represents my thoughts as well. I've been saying it for years. Companies are here to make money not make people happy. People are always b1tching about drug prices. Here's a thought - if you don't like the price - make your own medications. Or better yet buy them from Mexico/Canada/China and save a few dollars. But then who will you blame when you get a bottle of counterfeit medication and it kills you.

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