The Obscene Profits Department:
By Nurse Mark
Profits are what drives much of our American
medicine and the laws that regulate it - that is discussed a-plenty elsewhere in
this week's newsletter.
Here is an
interesting little news tidbit that demonstrates just that: According to recent
news reports, GlaxoSmithKline, the world's second-largest drugmaker, may market
a cervical cancer vaccine this year that would compete with Merck & Co.'s
Gardasil. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is being pressured to decide
this month to grant Glaxo's Cervarix vaccine a faster, ``priority'' review,
which would lead to an approval decision and sale of the product by the end of
Interestingly, the Glaxo request for U.S.
clearance of this new vaccine comes nine months after Merck won approval for
Gardasil, which has so far generated $365 million in sales just in the first
quarter of 2007. Gardasil has become one of Merck's most valuable commodities -
especially since they have lost a reported $800 million in sales when their
cholesterol pill Zocor lost patent protection in 2006 and the "generics" cut
into their market share..
So, here's the
short course analysis:
- Big Pharma giant suffers loss of obscene
profits from old drug.
- Big Pharma giant sees new obscene profits
being made by another Big Pharma giant - gets envious.
- Big Pharma giant comes up with similar new
drug in hopes of stealing some of the other Big Pharma giant's obscene
- Big Pharma giant pressures it's tame
government agency, the FDA, to "hustle-up" review and approval of new drug so
collection of obscene profits can begin.
- Meanwhile, Big Pharma giants get together with
Big Medicine, Big Media, Big Government and FDA to create a "need" for the new
drug by spreading fear of disease - "protect your children!" is a familiar
cry... (known in the ad industry as "the call to action"...)
- Big Pharma giants see that potential for
obscene profits is so great that they order their politician-employees (you
know, the ones you "elected" to high offices) to pass laws requiring the use
of it's new drug.
- Big Pharma giants realizes that their
politician-employee's "cover has been blown" by the backlash to it's brazen
attempts to force new drug onto children so they back off and change tactics
- Big Pharma giant now relies on fear of disease
generated by statistics which claim 10,000 new cases of disease and 4000
deaths from disease per year in US.
All this from the same people who gave you the
wonder drug Vioxx - you know, the one that caused anywhere from 50,000 to
120,000 deaths depending on who's numbers you believe...
What a country! Only in America could you rake in
obscene profits by inventing a drug, hyping a disease that the drug supposedly
addresses, and then paying politicians to pass laws requiring children to take
your new drug! Whew - the mind reels!