More Important Saving Lives From Swine Flu Or Protecting Roche's Monopoly?

from the moral-issues? dept

In other parts of the world, it's become acceptable for governments to simply ignore drug patents in order to produce more of necessary drugs in times of health scares. However, the US has mostly shied away from doing that, as the myth of patents as some great encouragement for innovation remains deeply rooted (and, oh yeah, pharmas are big campaign funders). However, with growing concern over the lack of supply for swine flu vaccines, there is some talk over whether or not the US will consider importing generic Tamiflu, even though the drug is still under patent in the US. There are approved generics, which are chemically identical, that are made elsewhere, such as India. However, importing it into the US, while it could save lives, is bound to be massively controversial. However, again, if we're going to have a moral discussion about intellectual property, can someone please explain the moral argument for not being able to use generic drugs in this instance?


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    Thomas (profile), Nov 10th, 2009 @ 1:44pm

    Them stealers are wrecking sickness ..

     

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    Brendan (profile), Nov 10th, 2009 @ 1:52pm

    Corporations aren't People

    When people are at risk (as they are in cases such as this one), the "needs" of the corporations should not even be a consideration.

    Import the cheap drug, keep people healthy. Tell the filthy whining sick-mongers to shove it.

    People >>> Corporate profits

     

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    Dmitriy Plaks (profile), Nov 10th, 2009 @ 2:11pm

    Better yet, why not make the drug here instead of importing it?

     

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      vyvyan, Nov 10th, 2009 @ 9:00pm

      Re:

      @Dmitriy Plaks
      Yes, the catch is right there. You can't make it cheaper than India. Importing is the best option you've got.

       

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    Ima Fish (profile), Nov 10th, 2009 @ 2:38pm

    Mike your facts are all wrong and your argument is completely backward. The purpose of patents is to promote innovation. The stronger the patent law, the more innovation we'll see. That goes without saying, right?

    Thus, if there is a problem with people not getting enough of a vaccine, the solution is to strengthen our obviously weak patent laws, not to bypass them.

     

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    Dark Helmet (profile), Nov 10th, 2009 @ 2:40pm

    Wait...

    "However, with growing concern over the lack of supply for swine flu vaccines, there is some talk over whether or not the US will consider importing generic Tamiflu, even though the drug is still under patent in the US."

    Hold up....that was a fucking OPTION!!? And they're DEBATING it? What's the fucking debate? Uh, people DYING. That's it. That's the trump card in the debate. This isn't a "people can't afford our version" issue. It's a "there ain't enough for us" fucking issue, god dammit. And you're telling me there's more...out there....and we could have it....except for PATENT FUCKING LAW?

    Pant, pant....you know what? They're right! The "myth of patents as some great encouragement for innovation" is true! Because, look...what could motivate someone better than death?

    Hey you! Little kid who ISN'T the President's daughters! Innovate me up some new swine flu vaccine or your fucking dead! Motivated yet, you little shits?

    Okay, how far gone are we as a people when we don't accept medicine for what is being described as an epidemic because the people that DON'T HAVE ANY MEDICINE LEFT might get their feelings hurt? They don't have any. They don't have any. They don't have any. Get it yet? It isn't there. It isn't fucking there!

    Dark Helmet: Hey, Rumsfeld! You got any pull with those Monsanto fucks that bought Searle after you left the company (makers of patented Tamiflu)? Can we get some? Cuz, see, I got me a fever, and the only cure is some Tamiflu...

    Rumsfeld: Oh, no sorry. They're all out. Sorry to hear about that fever, my helmeted friend.

    Dark Helmet: Ah, no worries. Turns out there are generics from overseas. I'll go grab those before I...you know...fucking die and shit.

    Rumsfeld: NO! Don't you fucking do that! Our shit is patented, and you would be a lost sale if you go generic!

    DH: Er, won't I be a lost sale when I'm fucking dead in the dirt?

    Rumsfeld: Well, for Tamiflu yeah, but Cheney gives me a bonus for all the people I kill...

     

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      Jason, Nov 10th, 2009 @ 4:52pm

      Re: Wait...

      Sorry, but the whole pharma patent things totally pre-dates Bush.

      You're going to have to have a bi-partisan shit-fest, what with the Obama-stration bringing back the fairness doctrine and all.

       

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      godric, Nov 10th, 2009 @ 5:52pm

      Re: Wait...

      "What's the fucking debate? Uh, people DYING. That's it. That's the trump card in the debate."

      Well... this is going to be fun and painful... I can feel my balloon knot pucker already... ok... here we go...

      Natural selection, Darwin, call it what you will. The population needs thinning. All these things add up to thinning the herd. Katrina, Swine Flu, Bird Flu, AIDS/HIV, Ebola, KHF, ETC, ETC. It is nature's way of saying that we fuck too much and that there are too many shit-po crackhead assholes on the planet. So Nature takes out a few thousand here and there.

      Then there is the, far too uncelebrated, Darwin award for douchebags killing themselves in all kinds of preventable ways. But these are Darwin's chosen ones... they manage to find ways to kill themselves even with the safety on.

      As far as I am concerned, let nature take its course and let nature thin the herd. I have had swine flu 2 times already and I am doing just fine without some gay ass vaccine. My first time I caught it in Panama in the mid '90s (yes it has existed for a very long time.) 2nd time was last year.

      Have fun people... get off the tit.

       

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        John Doe, Nov 11th, 2009 @ 4:25am

        Re: Re: Wait...

        Some logic here. According to your logic we shouldn't allow people to wear glasses to improve their vision so that they will step out in front of traffic and get taken out of the gene pool. We should also not help deaf people hear so they get weeded out to.

        Can these poor, imperfect people not produce people who don't have these problems? The answer is yes. My parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins all wear glasses. Myself and my two brothers do not.

        If we take out the imperfect, we will be left with no one. That's right, not one.

         

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          godric, Nov 11th, 2009 @ 9:28am

          Re: Re: Re: Wait...

          I said nothing about taking out or not helping people that need it. What I'm saying is that this is not the end of the world, and that nature will sort it out. No matter how we try to cheat nature, it will get theirs. Natural selection is going to happen no matter what.

          Glasses... I have glasses, and I am not perfect. But you took it in this direction. I know deaf people that are far stronger than typically developing. This has nothing to do with disabilities, other than stupidity and a lack of survival skills.

           

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      Anonymous Coward, Nov 10th, 2009 @ 7:32pm

      Re: Wait...

      I am just really compelled by your strong arguments with respect to bringing generic Tamiflu into the United States. I have one simple question: How effective is Tamiflu in treating the swine flu and would it save any lives at all?

      Indeed, there is some evidence that flu viruses are adapting to Tamiflu quickly and readily, and there is little if any evidence that Tamiflu is all that effective in saving lives.

      http://www.newfluwiki2.com/showDiary.do?diaryId=1135

      More recent, though preliminary, reports seem to be indicating (anecdotally) that Tamiflu is less effective on swine flu and swine flu may develop Tamiflu resistance faster than seasonal flu.

      Conclusion: All your comments regarding Tamiflu may be great sabre-rattling and a great way to blow off steam, but even non-patented Tamiflu could be essentially a waste of money to treat swine flu.

       

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        mobiGeek (profile), Nov 11th, 2009 @ 8:29am

        Re: Re: Wait...

        Though you bring up a valid concern about the particular drug, if the reason the drug not being brought in is because the Tamiflu maker's patents then your point is irrelevant in this debate.

        And I'm quite sure that the maker of Tamiflu is not going to accept your argument.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Nov 11th, 2009 @ 10:05am

          Re: Re: Re: Wait...

          I disagree with your statement that the points made about Tamiflu are irrelevant, patents or no patents. Using Tamiflu as a strawman against patents is a non-starter if Tamiflu is ineffective against preventing or curing influenza.

          Of course, I am sure the makers of Tamiflu are doing their best to promote Tamiflu for treatment of flu, but of course they are hardly objective.

           

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 10th, 2009 @ 2:47pm

    no

    this is not a major health threat, at least not enough to will encourage overturning patent laws.

    "Uh, people DYING. That's it. That's the trump card in the debate."

    uh, no. very, very few people are dying. if you want to complain about big pharma then complain about the lack of anti-malaria medication, or the development of new erectile dysfunction drugs instead of antibiotics. The panic over swine flu is bull shit.

     

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      Dark Helmet (profile), Nov 10th, 2009 @ 2:52pm

      Re: no

      "if you want to complain about big pharma then complain about the lack of anti-malaria medication"

      Yes, that too, but isn't that a choice by the manufacturers because there isn't any money in that medication?

      "or the development of new erectile dysfunction drugs instead of antibiotics"

      Again, yes, but that's another choice.

      This is different. It's the willfull manufacturer of the patented medicine (Monsanto, developed by the company they bought, Donald Rumsfeld's Searle, also makers of aspartame) not HAVING ANY. They can't meet the demand. And patent law is preventing that demand from being met. And it's a medical situation.

      Now, you say it isn't as big a deal as the media is making it out to be? I'm totally with you. But the point is that government officials can't use the Swine Flu to make headlines as a pandemic (and they are) on one hand and then hold up laws that limit the ability to respond to the pandemic. If they do, then what is the point of their existence at all?

       

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      Ima Fish (profile), Nov 10th, 2009 @ 2:53pm

      Re: no

      "this is not a major health threat, at least not enough to will encourage overturning patent laws."

      "oh, no. very, very few people are dying"

      Quick question, how many people do our patent laws have to kill before it becomes enough of a problem? Thanks!

       

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        Mike Masnick (profile), Nov 10th, 2009 @ 2:59pm

        Re: Re: no

        > Quick question, how many people do our patent laws have to kill before it becomes enough of a problem? Thanks!

        Comment of the day. :)

         

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        Jake, Nov 10th, 2009 @ 3:00pm

        Re: no

        Quick question, how many people do our patent laws have to kill before it becomes enough of a problem?

        Judging by the prevailing political climate in much of the English-speaking world... somewhere in the low tens of millions.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Nov 10th, 2009 @ 7:36pm

          Re: Re: no

          Care to provide some evidence for that?

           

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            mobiGeek (profile), Nov 11th, 2009 @ 8:35am

            Re: Re: Re: no

            Seriously? Do we need to point out the various atrocities and tragedies that have occurred around the world in the past, say, century before the West got involved?

            Famines, genocides, natural disasters.

            Now if we're talking about the US government getting involved in the deaths of "americans", then the numbers are drastically lower than tens of millions. If it is poor Black or Hispanic folks, then the number is in the high thousands. If it is rich, young, affluent white people then the number is one.

             

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              Anonymous Coward, Nov 11th, 2009 @ 10:08am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: no

              Let me ask the question again:

              How many people have been "killed" by patents, and where is your proof that patents have "killed" people? Your data is interesting, but I fail to see the link between patents and the deaths of anyone.

               

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              Anonymous Coward, Nov 11th, 2009 @ 10:16am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: no

              Where is the fallacy? The question is how many people have our patent laws "killed"? Simple question.

              As for the other questions, since society has many concerns, some of which are issues, some of which are not perceived as issues, how to we compare the number of people "killed" by patents to other issues so that we can see where we should be putting our resources. A simple question, really. Labelling something a "fallacy" is a nice way to deflect a legitimate question.

               

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              mobiGeek (profile), Nov 11th, 2009 @ 10:39am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: no

              I was replying to the response of "how many people [have to die]? ... somewhere in the low tens of millions".

              That is, in my opinion, you will get a reaction by (governments of) The West should you show deaths in the millions of "foreigners", thousands of "locals" (or the one white kid).

               

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                Anonymous Coward, Nov 11th, 2009 @ 12:15pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: no

                Ah. And since no one is able to show even one death (so far), the arguments get tougher.

                 

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        Anonymous Coward, Nov 10th, 2009 @ 7:36pm

        Re: Re: no

        Here is a different question: How many people have our patent laws "killed"? Can you compare that to the number of people who have been killed by those who thought they were defending their individual rights? How about the number of people killed just so that some people could have video games and computers? How many people have to die from pollution caused by automobiles? How do these numbers compare to the millions who are starving in dozens of countries because of war and famine?

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Nov 11th, 2009 @ 8:26am

          Re: Re: Re: no

          Nice fallacy! Just because there are other (perhaps more severe) problems does not mean the patent system is not a problem or is not worth solving.

           

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      TheStupidOne, Nov 10th, 2009 @ 2:56pm

      Re: no

      Anon, you forget that were people are dying matters. People in the US are dying because of a preventable disease. Vaccines are available but only where pharma patents aren't enforced. That should get Americans upset.

      I'll agree with you that pharma companies are the scum of the earth, but the H1N1 scare isn't bull shit because it is killing people. There are worse diseases, especially in the developing world, but not many in the US that are nearly as preventable.

       

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        godric, Nov 11th, 2009 @ 9:37am

        Re: Re: no

        Stupidity is preventable, but yet it spreads like wildfire in our country. The locals do dumb things, media picks it up, makes it national... international media makes fun of us, etc. Moral of the story... don't do dumb things.

        H1N1 is a fallacy. I have had it 2 times and both times it was nothing more than a bad cold. I did not need medical attention for it. The only reason that children and elderly die from it is because it generates a high fever and it causes other underlying conditions to worsen. Not only that, but the caretakers take too long to recognize it, because they think it is just a cold. Then the person dies due to complications as a result of H1N1, not a direct cause.

         

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        Anonymous Coward, Nov 11th, 2009 @ 10:32am

        Re: Re: no

        Could you point me to a patented vaccine for the current strains of flu?

         

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      Mike C. (profile), Nov 10th, 2009 @ 4:09pm

      Re: no

      I'm not sure what your opinion of "very few" is, but according to the CDC, 672 people died from laboratory confirmed influenza in the time period from August 30 to October 31, 2009. Of those, 73 were children. These figures were updated November 6th here if you'd care to check for yourself.

      In case you're having trouble with the math, that's about 11 people every week dying from the flu. To give you a point of comparison, New York City has managed to have less than 400 murders all year.

       

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      monkyyy (profile), Nov 11th, 2009 @ 6:31pm

      Re: no

      it is clearly a lie but lets let the neat freaks get some sleep

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 10th, 2009 @ 3:11pm

    Patents deserve the same protection as copyright.

    I don't understand why patents don't last for centuries. Why would anyone invent anything?

     

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      Willton, Nov 10th, 2009 @ 3:23pm

      Re:

      Patents deserve the same protection as copyright.

      I don't understand why patents don't last for centuries. Why would anyone invent anything?


      It's good to know that anti-intellectualism is alive and well at Techdirt.com.

      And yes, I'm well aware that the above comment is heavily dosed with sarcasm.

       

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    Anonymoose, Nov 10th, 2009 @ 3:44pm

    Perhaps the Swine Flu Myth...

    ...is the reason for the US not duplicating the mythical vaccine?

     

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    Jim Sadler, Nov 10th, 2009 @ 4:07pm

    Call it Murder

    There is no contest between the right of people to have good health and not die and economic considerations. To cause people to become infected and in some cases perish simply to protect the concept of profit or private property rights is murder and our laws should punish those that cause these problems.
    Imagine a person staggering into a hospital with a life threatening wound and the doctors refusing to help as they see no way to make money helping the wounded man. That is exactly the same as holding back medications.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Nov 10th, 2009 @ 7:38pm

      Re: Call it Murder

      I suspect millions of people in the United States and other countries die because they are unable to afford medical care. Now, how many die because of patents? Waiting for that one.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Nov 11th, 2009 @ 10:35am

      Re: Call it Murder

      You claim that:

      "To cause people to become infected and in some cases perish simply to protect the concept of profit or private property rights is murder and our laws should punish those that cause these problems."

      Now, my guess is that you have a computer, a home or apartment, a car, and a lot of other stuff. I bet you eat pretty well too. Where do we send the police? Your private property could be converted to food and medical treatment for people that would prevent them from becoming infected and dying. By your comment, you are a murderer.

       

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    Derek Reed (profile), Nov 10th, 2009 @ 4:42pm

    I don't understand

    IF a patent maximalist is correct and patents are absolutely necessary to encourage innovation, then wouldn't any action taken here undermine big pharma's faith in the patent system, and cause them to no longer innovate and create the next drug that actually does save a significant number of lives?

    Isn't this bringing the moral argument in when there is none? There's life saving on both sides, and it sounds like this an example where their fictitious nonexistent side is stronger (more lives saved by future drug encouraged by system, then saved now by generic undermining patent system).

    In this case, why were patents (or the length of patent granted) unnecessary for the original drug to be designed and produced? I don't know enough to answer that, but I think that'd be a more compelling argument then saving a few lives now at the risk of many lives in the future.

    P.S. "They just aren't necessary" is a good answer, but I'm hoping for better/specifics.

     

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    old_wiz, Nov 10th, 2009 @ 4:50pm

    Corporations of course

    Of course drug companies should be protected. Drug companies are in the business to make money, not cure people. If the choice was to make $2 million and save 500,000 people vs making 10 million and saving 50,000 people, which do you think they would choose?

    /sarcasm.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 10th, 2009 @ 4:53pm

    Not sure why the fact that it would be controversial ought to be a consideration here. I'd suggest using the tools to hand. Import generics and give them away, use the ridiculously expanded state secrets or national security protections to hide the identity of the manufacturers (the specific doctors and patients would already be sheltered by HIPAA), and let the patent holders explain to a judge why they elected not to meet the need in the first place if they decide to sue over it. If necessary, declare war on viral organisms. I suddenly feel the threat level rising, you guys (*wink*). There may be active viral cells in my body right now, planning to attack strategic targets!

     

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    Bri (profile), Nov 10th, 2009 @ 5:08pm

    I fully believe innovation should be rewarded, which isn't to say that the patent system isn't royally screwed up. However, in this case were the proprietor can't keep up with demand the duplicate drug should be allowed into the country and the government should step in to allocate a fair tariff that would go to the patent owner. This would be similar to the government taking over private land for road development and paying the land owner a fair market value.

     

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      cjmpe, Nov 10th, 2009 @ 6:01pm

      Re: Tariff to the patent holder

      I don't see why Roche should be rewarded with a tariff on imported generics. After all, it not like Roche will actually lose any sales since they had no intention (capability?) to produce the product anyway.

       

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    No Imagination (profile), Nov 10th, 2009 @ 5:59pm

    Wait a second - Way to buy into the scare tactics

    The mortality rate (%) and numbers of fatalities related to H1N1 (Swine Flu) is LESS then the 'common' flu.

    If the US superseded patent laws to thwart this 'pandemic', then there is no reason not to do the same thing next year for the common flu.

    If you want to make an argument against pharma patents, fine, do that; but please please please don't trump up the irrational fear of 'swine' flu to suit your argument.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Nov 10th, 2009 @ 6:23pm

      Re: Wait a second - Way to buy into the scare tactics

      If the US superseded patent laws to thwart this 'pandemic', then there is no reason not to do the same thing next year for the common flu.

      OK. I wouldn't have thought of it, but it's a fantastic idea (but not in the patentable sense).

       

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      nasch (profile), Nov 10th, 2009 @ 6:28pm

      Re: Wait a second - Way to buy into the scare tactics

      If the US superseded patent laws to thwart this 'pandemic', then there is no reason not to do the same thing next year for the common flu.

      Oh good, we agree.

      (Any time people are dying and a patent can't or won't meet the demand, the patent should be ignored as long as necessary. Swine flu, bird flu, regular flu, hamster flu, nictitating coliform pancreatic pseudo-mitochondritis, anyting.)

       

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        No Imagination (profile), Nov 10th, 2009 @ 6:51pm

        Re: Re: Wait a second - Way to buy into the scare tactics

        Great - Now riddle me this. Why would Roche, or any other company put money into new flu/cancer/heart disease treatments, when they could invest billions into the next Viagra or Hair Loss medicine.

        You are being short sighted. If you honestly believe that any medicine that has the potential to save human lives shouldn't be protected - then I fail to see the motivation to develop new drugs.

        If you need a 'case in point' - look at home much $$ is put towards Malaria or Sickle Cell Anemia; diseases which traditionally have little return via profits.

         

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          nasch (profile), Nov 11th, 2009 @ 9:15am

          Re: Re: Re: Wait a second - Way to buy into the scare tactics

          Why would Roche, or any other company put money into new flu/cancer/heart disease treatments, when they could invest billions into the next Viagra or Hair Loss medicine.

          That is already what is happening.

          If you honestly believe that any medicine that has the potential to save human lives shouldn't be protected - then I fail to see the motivation to develop new drugs.

          That isn't what I said. And even if I had said that, patents are not the only possible motivating factor in producing a product, including medicine.

          If you need a 'case in point' - look at home much $$ is put towards Malaria or Sickle Cell Anemia; diseases which traditionally have little return via profits.

          Those aren't profitable because the people who need them are poor and live in countries with poor governments, who don't have huge amounts of money to give to the drug companies. If malaria were a major problem in America, drug companies would be falling all over themselves to develop anti-malarial drugs.

          Besides which, your case in point is one that exists with current strong patent laws, so if anything that proves the damage that they can do. I actually think it has nothing at all to do with patents, but it certainly doesn't demonstrate how great they are.

           

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        Anonymous Coward, Nov 10th, 2009 @ 7:43pm

        Re: Re: Wait a second - Way to buy into the scare tactics

        Teeny little problem with your logic. There is little or no evidence that Tamiflu does anything other than shorten the period of time that a person suffers the flu, BY A DAY. Amazing. Evidence for "saving lives" is inconclusive, at best. And the potential side effects of Tamiflu are scary.

         

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          nasch (profile), Nov 11th, 2009 @ 9:19am

          Re: Re: Re: Wait a second - Way to buy into the scare tactics

          That's not a problem with logic, it's a problem with facts. If the facts as stated in the article are incorrect then obviously any conclusions drawn from them will be wrong too. So, thanks for mentioning this info. If you have any links that would be even better.

           

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        Anonymous Coward, Nov 11th, 2009 @ 10:39am

        Re: Re: Wait a second - Way to buy into the scare tactics

        So far there has been no evidence that patents are in the way of preventing people from dying from the flu. Still waiting for that one.

         

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  •  
    identicon
    angryman, Nov 10th, 2009 @ 6:06pm

    Tamiflu a Vaccine

    Tamiflu is not a Swine flu vaccine but a medicine against the influenza virus.

    Furthermore, Tamiflu generics are available for quite some tme in europe.

    You are complaining about bad journalism? What are you doping right here. Tamiflu ist NOT a Swine Flu vaccine. Research a bit... google helps.

     

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    •  
      icon
      Mike Masnick (profile), Nov 11th, 2009 @ 1:19am

      Re: Tamiflu a Vaccine

      Tamiflu is not a Swine flu vaccine but a medicine against the influenza virus.

      Right. I never said it was the vaccine. Not sure why you read that into the article, because I never said that.

      Furthermore, Tamiflu generics are available for quite some tme in europe.

      Uh, again, I didn't say otherwise. This post was about the US.


      You are complaining about bad journalism? What are you doping right here. Tamiflu ist NOT a Swine Flu vaccine. Research a bit... google helps.


      Actually, reading comprehension helps, since I didn't say what you think I said.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    timstevens, Nov 10th, 2009 @ 8:03pm

    cipro and anthrax

    this is the same (us) government which threatened to break the cipro patents "to protect the american public" from anthrax.

    they really f-ed up on that decision.

    so, tell me why this one also isn't more of the same?

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 11th, 2009 @ 7:45am

    You know, there is a law that does allow a country to allow generics which avoids patent protection in the case of a drug not being available.

    Considering that you can go to any number of websites and order Tamiflu, where is the shortage?

     

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  •  
    identicon
    staff2, Nov 11th, 2009 @ 9:00am

    stop the shilling!!!

    "pharmas are big campaign funders"

    And so is tech. So let's distribute free copies of MS Office.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    icon
    mrmacfoo (profile), Nov 11th, 2009 @ 9:01am

    ideas?

    Companies do not have morals! Any company with morals would not survive in pharma. Those who do not do whatever is possible to maximise profits (including 'sponsoring' political campaigns or letting people die) are themselves subject to natural selection. We need a change to the current system where companies can influence governments so heavily. Ideas? money to implement ideas? anyone?

     

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  •  
    identicon
    TDR, Nov 11th, 2009 @ 9:48am

    Question: why should health care be for profit in the first place?

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 11th, 2009 @ 10:55am

    Non-Moral

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 11th, 2009 @ 10:59am

    Non-Moral Arguments

    (1) There is no evidence that Tamiflu is all that effective for H1N1.

    (2) The generic versions of the drug have not been approved by the FDA so even if they were permitted to be imported they could not be prescribed by doctors.

    (3) There is evidence that seasonal flu is Tamiflu resistant, and is increasingly so:

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/health/article6250021.ece

    To me it seems more like a question of whether Tamiflu is even all that useful.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 11th, 2009 @ 12:29pm

    What argument? Tamiflu is available. You or I can go to any number of websites and buy it right now. Why should patents even be a question? Hmmm, drumroll? Because the authors want to talk about patents, not healthcare of tamiflu.

     

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    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Nov 11th, 2009 @ 2:48pm

      Re:

      Oh, yeah. It is kind of like Kevin Bacon and the six degrees thing. With a little creativity you can connect patents to anything - including milk and sex.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        icon
        monkyyy (profile), Nov 11th, 2009 @ 6:47pm

        Re: Re:

        today on techdirt the striper pole was patented putting 100`s of young mothers out of work- how could it been prevented by riding the world of copyrights

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Rekrul, Nov 11th, 2009 @ 8:48pm

    In the US, money is more important than saving lives. It always has been.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Nov 12th, 2009 @ 5:49am

      Re:

      Yeah. If money was less important than saving lives, then we would have non-profit organizations supported by millions of people for whom money was not an issue. These organizations might be called The Salvation Army, The Red Cross, The American Cancer Society, The American Heart Association and many others. The purpose of these organizations would be to gather donations and apply those donations, without concern for profit, to helping people and saving lives. However, we do not have those organizations because money has always been more important in the US than saving lives. Also, video game playing, designer clothes, fancy cars, and bigger houses than needed are more important than saving lives. Eating at fast food restaurants is more important than saving lives.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        identicon
        Rekrul, Nov 12th, 2009 @ 11:34am

        Re: Re:

        Yeah. If money was less important than saving lives, then we would have non-profit organizations supported by millions of people for whom money was not an issue. These organizations might be called The Salvation Army, The Red Cross, The American Cancer Society, The American Heart Association and many others.

        Which one of those is going to pay for the medications I need to take every month? Which one is going to pick up the $5000 hospital bill I owe? Which one of those is going to help me pay off the cardiologist I had to see? Which one is going to pay for my on-going doctor visits and blood tests?

        Since I don't have insurance, I suppose if I weren't able to pay, the Hospital would tear up the bill, the phramacy would give me my pills for free, mt doctor would go on treating me, the lab would do the blood tests for free, etc, Right? After all, healthcare isn't about the money...

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        •  
          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, Nov 12th, 2009 @ 11:58am

          Re: Re: Re:

          I pay the same bills you do. I am not particularly happen about them. However, we keep going to doctors and hospitals, don't we? Your option is to go to Mexico or India and get your treatment there, where it is way cheaper.

          However, there are a lot of people that provide medical care at little or no cost. I work next door to a clinic that provide low or no cost care and the same doctors who work at the hospital work at that clinic. They may be charging you $5,000, but people at the clinic are paying a fraction of that. Just prove you are poor.

           

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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