Turing Pharma Boss Martin Shkreli Defends Massive Price Increase As A Good Thing For Patients

from the just-another-symptom-of-a-diseased-system dept

Martin Shkreli -- founder of Turing Pharmaceuticals and overnight poster boy for everything that is wrong with the pharmaceutical industry -- spent a lot of yesterday defending his 5000% price hike on Daraprim, a drug that treats victims of toxoplasmosis. That the drug has a nexus with cancer and AIDS sufferers (basically anyone with a diminished immune system) made the price increase seem even more unconscionable.

Shkreli's self-serving interviews were loaded with ridiculous statements.


He claimed raising the price from $13.50/pill to $750/pill was done in the interest of the same people who would likely find it suddenly prohibitively expensive to take the drug.
“With these new profits, we can spend all of that upside on these patients who sorely need a new drug in my opinion.”
First off, there's no consensus that the medical community is searching for a new toxoplasmosis drug.
Dr. Wendy Armstrong, professor of infectious diseases at Emory University, questions Turing’s claim that, after more than 60 years of physicians using Daraprim, there is a need for a better version of the drug.

“I certainly don’t think this is one of those diseases where we have been clamoring for better therapies,” says Armstrong.
Next, there's the inherent ridiculousness of this assertion, which portrays Turing's plans for Daraprim as a reverse pyramid scheme, in which future "investors" will benefit from the gouging of those who got in on the ground floor.

On top of that, Shkreli claims the drug is still underpriced, despite having been sold for $1/pill before its acquisition by the company Turing acquired it from.

While it's true that drug research and development can be expensive, it is nowhere near as costly as this price hike would indicate. Shkreli tossed out the easily-debunked claim that it costs $1 billion to bring a new drug to market. The actual cost is considerably lower (~$55 million), according to research using the same data drug companies provided to backup their claims of $1.3 billion in R&D costs per new drug.

Data also shows pharmaceutical companies spend far more on marketing than research and development. They have to. Most "new" products on the market aren't actually new. They're just variants on what's already available. It's tough to sell a "new" drug that doesn't outperform a competing product, hence the increased marketing expenditures.

Shkreli also used a variant of "everyone else is doing it" to defend the price jump. He pointed to the existence of other cancer drugs costing "over $100,000" per treatment as justifying Turing's price increase. But being slightly less exortionate than competitors isn't the same thing as being "good."

Shkreli has little interest in being good, no matter what altruistic assertions he makes. His former company -- from which he was ousted over accusations of stock price manipulation -- also jacked up the price on an essential drug just because it could.
When Retrophin acquired rights to Thiola, the drug cost about $1.50 per pill. [Patients take multiple pills per day.] Now, Retrophin has decided to charge more than $30 for the same Thiola pill. Retrophin says it has plans to change the Thiola dose and develop an extended release version of the drug, but I have seen none of those changes yet. To my knowledge, Retrophin hasn't yet done any of this work -- except to drastically increase Thiola's price.
And indeed, Retrophin never did. From a 2015 presentation, it's generating sales for Retrophin, but nowhere in it is any indication the company is actually working towards an extended-release version of the drug.


I asked Shkreli about this and he claimed the company ditched the R&D plans after it ousted him. Maybe this is true, but it doesn't exactly instill any confidence in Shkreli's latest claims that price hikes are being done with an eye on increased R&D spending. Instead, they look like nothing more than the normal deflection performed by drug companies after controversial price increases.

Other circumstantial evidence does little for consumer confidence. Not only is Shkreli being sued by his former company for fraudulent behavior, he's previously been taken to court (by Lehman Brothers) for a $2.3 million loss he incurred (but never repaid) when his bet on a market decline went south. The complaint accuses him not only of failing to pay Lehman what was owed, but of pushing through the transaction without actually possessing the funds to cover the original purchase.


Shkreli also has a history of thriving on market failure. He has made money shorting pharmaceutical stocks while simultaneously engaging in questionable behavior. Here's a "treatise" he wrote detailing the negative aspects of one company's research efforts, which clearly states at the top of each page (for legal reasons) that he stands to personally gain if the company's stock price drops.
DISCLAIMER: The authors of this article have a conflict of interest and will benefit financially if the stock price of VTL falls. The authors reserve the right to change their investment if the price of VTL changes dramatically. Please read the Disclosure at the end of this paper for more information.
(This was tracked down from a deleted tweet by Martin Shkreli. Other Twitter users had commented on it, so it was recoverable from Google cache. Here's a screenshot, because the cache won't stay live for long.)


But he's also been accused of actions that are more than simply treading the edge of legality. A heated Twitter exchange implies Shkreli talked the FDA out of a drug approval -- something that hurt the company producing the drug, but paid off for Shkreli's stock short.


Shkreli's history does little to back up his assertions of altruistic goals and a future full of well-funded research and development. Instead, it shows someone who's willing to exploit every last dollar out of something and leave its dessicated corpse behind.

What he has done is anger the "community" he's a part of. Drug prices were already being subjected to the scrutiny of crusading legislators. Now, drug prices are no longer under the Congressional microscope. They're also being projected onto the Jumbotron that is social media. No less than presidential candidate Hillary Clinton offered up her view on the price hike, promising a plan to address the problem.

On top of that, share prices for several drug companies fell the day the Daraprim price hike went viral. That this may have worked out well for Shkreli can't be ignored, considering his prior experience with shorting pharmaceutical companies. Maybe this was part of the plan: Short pharma stocks. Jack price up on newly-acquired drugs. Play the villain while cashing in on the market decline.

That's all speculation, of course. What is certain is that Martin Shkreli is not THE problem. (He's not even "Big Pharma," even though several editorials have placed him in this group.) He's part of the problem, but his specific actions are more about exploiting obscure drugs that competitors aren't interested in. His actions shed little light on the genesis of high drug prices.

The original issue is patents. That has been mostly ignored by legislators and opinion pieces during the most recent push for some sort of drug pricing controls. And it will continue to be ignored because Daraprim's price hike is completely unrelated to patent monopolies. Turing's exclusive license for Daraprim includes only the use of the trademarked name. The patents have expired. Anyone can make it, but no one's been particularly interested in offering an alternative. (Maybe this will change now that a company has a chance to take on the villain du jour…)

But it's patents that make drugs unaffordable in the first place. New drugs are given, at minimum, 20 years of competition-free sales. That's two decades (at least) where drug companies can charge whatever they want because no one else can offer a competing product. Companies -- like Shkreli -- will claim they need this exclusivity to recoup "massive" research and development costs. But this simply isn't true. Pharmaceutical companies enjoy massive profit margins, much more than would be expected if they were faced with meaningful competition. The lie is exposed when patents expire. Prices fall dramatically once the market is opened, including that of the original manufacturer's.

So, if the government really wants to tackle the problem of overpriced drugs, it needs to start with the protections it grants that allow this to happen. But this seems unlikely to happen because drug companies have significant "buying power" when it comes to legislation, no matter how many people come forward to testify about being priced out of essential treatments.

Shkreli, however, is specializing in finding "orphan drugs" -- drugs for rare conditions that are no longer under patent protection (which would raise the acquisition price significantly) but which have seen little to no competitive movement over the years. His decision to implement a 5000% price increase, despite minimal costs (and benefiting from R&D performed 60 years ago), is one he can make because there's no market force in place to stop him. So, he may be the poster boy for everything that's wrong with the pharmaceutical industry, but he's not really indicative of the ongoing problem.

What he is, however, is an opportunist with a hedge fund background and a history of market exploitation. Any claims of altruism or searches for better treatments should be met with intense skepticism.


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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 22 Sep 2015 @ 1:57pm

    And this is why to heavily regulate corporations and tax the hell out of the rich.

    Nothing new about greed. Laws and taxes were laid on for a reason.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 23 Sep 2015 @ 7:43am

      Re: And this is why to heavily regulate corporations and tax the hell out of the rich.

      Actually it is NOT a good idea why!

      Regulation only does one thing, cause MORE problems and secure a companies bottom line when they corrupt the organization "regulating" them.

      The FCC is a prime fucking example of this very fact... they helped created the telco monopolies!

      You will only gain a false sense of security from it.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 22 Sep 2015 @ 2:12pm

    Damn, screen prints are gone.

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

  • icon
    radix (profile), 22 Sep 2015 @ 2:35pm

    The high cost is to offset the cost of purchasing the "exclusive marketing" ability. They really only bought the brand name, not the drug (it's out of patent).

    So any other pharmaceutical can come in and sell their version for $1/pill again, be seen as a hero, and probably bankrupt this bastard.

    Who's up for a Kickstarter?

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

    • icon
      TKnarr (profile), 22 Sep 2015 @ 2:47pm

      Re:

      The problem there is that any company wanting to market another version has to either prove their version is identical to Daraprim (right down to the impurities, by chemical analysis and comparison of the results to those from Daraprim) or go through the entire FDA approval process as a new formulation. And Shkreli locked down distribution of Daraprim so competitors can't get samples of it for the comparison (which is also making the FDA unhappy on top of everything else).

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 22 Sep 2015 @ 3:32pm

      Re:

      If another company invests the substantial amount of cash required to produce a generic, all that does is force the original supplier to lower their prices just long enough to force the newcomer out of business.

      Then they go straight back up again.

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

    • icon
      John85851 (profile), 23 Sep 2015 @ 8:05am

      Re:

      And who's up for waiting a few years for research, development, and FDA approval?

      And then what happens when this guy finds out another company is about to release their version of the drug for $30? Oh, look, he's suddenly being big-hearted and pricing his own drug for $20, which once again, undercuts the competition... which is basically what the drug has been doing for the past 50 years.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 22 Sep 2015 @ 2:52pm

    Cost of Drug

    From the BBC UK news site:
    In the UK, the same drug is currently sold by GSK at a cost of £13 for 30 tablets.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-34322720

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    • icon
      Bamboo Harvester (profile), 22 Sep 2015 @ 3:13pm

      Re: Cost of Drug

      Which makes this entire "report" non-news, as someone else IS making the drug.

      The only people who would have to pay the inflated price are those whose doctors mark the scrip DAW.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 22 Sep 2015 @ 3:35pm

        Re: Re: Cost of Drug

        No, the same company produces all of the drug. But in the US, shitstain Shkreli has purchased exclusive distribution rights. You can't legally buy the UK version in the US.

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

      • icon
        PaulT (profile), 23 Sep 2015 @ 3:58am

        Re: Re: Cost of Drug

        "The only people who would have to pay the inflated price are"

        Americans. The rest of the world are unaffected by the purchase of US marketing rights, even though the pills come from the same place.

        But, any attempt to fix to fix your healthcare system that allows this stuff to happen, blocks Medicare from negotiating prices to get the same deals as other public healthcare systems, etc. tend to get labelled "socialism". Thus rejected by the same low-information voters who would benefit from those types of changes.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 22 Sep 2015 @ 3:14pm

      Re: Cost of Drug

      could a competitor just buy gsk's version, then sell it in the us?

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

      • icon
        Manabi (profile), 22 Sep 2015 @ 4:43pm

        Re: Re: Cost of Drug

        No, Shkreli purchased exclusive distribution rights in the US from the manufacturer. No other company can buy it and resell it here due to that.

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

        • icon
          Uriel-238 (profile), 23 Sep 2015 @ 12:12pm

          Distirubution Rights -- IANAL

          How does that work? Doesn't it create a monopoly which is doing exactly the sort of thing for which we don't allow monopolies?

          How would US law allow for exclusive distro rights for an unpatented product?

          This sounds like something ready for a major antitrust suit.

          Maybe I don't understand capitalism.

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

          • icon
            John Fenderson (profile), 24 Sep 2015 @ 7:22am

            Re: Distirubution Rights -- IANAL

            "for which we don't allow monopolies?"

            Monopolies are 100% allowed in the US. What is not allowed is abusing the power of a monopoly position.

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

          • icon
            The Wanderer (profile), 30 Jan 2017 @ 7:14am

            Re: Distirubution Rights -- IANAL

            The manufacturer can still sell to whomever they want. They've just contracted to only sell to this one company, for purposes of the US market.

            If someone else wants to start manufacturing it, they aren't prohibited from doing so - it's just that they also have to get separate FDA approval for what they produce, unless they can prove that it's chemically identical to what the existing manufacturer produces.

            That separate-FDA-approval requirement seems like the real root of the problem, in this and similar cases where all applicable patents are expired; it imposes a barrier to entering the market, thus restricting the number of potential competitors.

            There's room to argue that it's necessary from a public-safety perspective, and I'm not entirely sure that that argument doesn't hold up - but the result is highly unfortunate and undesirable.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 22 Sep 2015 @ 3:36pm

    Just wondering to myself...this whole process looks like a good way of shorting pharma stocks. Do something that seems ludicrous, inviting numerous politicians to threaten a 'crackdown'. Watch stock prices fall, and cash out.

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

  • identicon
    Mark Wing, 22 Sep 2015 @ 4:03pm

    Letting poor people die is a viable business model.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 22 Sep 2015 @ 5:23pm

    Looks like a monopoly to me, what ever happened to the Sherman Antitrust Act?

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 22 Sep 2015 @ 6:04pm

    The "girls" will have a good time with this one on C Block. If he resists their advances all the better to them. Every one gets shit on them sooner or later, so this dude had better cover his ass, literally. Thank goodness the formula can be had and not all nations cow-tow to U.S. law (lessness).

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

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 22 Sep 2015 @ 6:05pm

    Again you pirates hide the truth. If you can't afford it, you don't deserve it!

    I don't see what's so hard to understand. Oh, that's right. It's because you're all pirates who would rather fund Google.


    Attempt # 32! You pirates are very insistent on hiding the facts.

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

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 22 Sep 2015 @ 6:47pm

      Gotta love those pro-corporate priorities

      Piracy is bad because it potentially costs companies some money.

      Insanely priced drugs, priced purely for profit are good, despite the very real health costs suffered by people who can't afford drugs they need to live normal lives(or live at all).

      At least you're honest about the fact that you don't care one bit about actual people, and only care about the wealthfare of corporations, so that's something I suppose.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 23 Sep 2015 @ 12:46am

      Re: Again you pirates hide the truth. If you can't afford it, you don't deserve it!

      "You pirates are very insistent on hiding the facts."

      I hope you're not referring to yourself, because you've *never* contributed anything factual to dicsussions here.

      You need to stop lying.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 23 Sep 2015 @ 4:34am

      Re:

      out_of_the_blue just hates it when due process is enforced.

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

    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 23 Sep 2015 @ 7:20am

      Re: Again you pirates hide the truth. If you can't afford it, you don't deserve it!

      "You pirates are very insistent on hiding the facts"

      Yet, you never use the opportunity freely afforded to you here to list the facts, only to whine and lie about people.

      Is that because you have no facts yourself?

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 23 Sep 2015 @ 7:50am

      Re: Again you pirates hide the truth. If you can't afford it, you don't deserve it!

      If you can't afford it, you don't deserve it?

      You have clearly stooped to a new low - congratulations, asshole.

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

      • identicon
        Wendy Cockcroft, 24 Sep 2015 @ 5:36am

        Re: Re: Again you pirates hide the truth. If you can't afford it, you don't deserve it!

        That's the maximalist's position, right there. Funnily enough, OOTB CLAIMS to hate "the rich." Now it seems he's changed his mind and thinks they are the only ones on Earth who deserve decent healthcare.

        https://youtu.be/xzNyVPbx3gI?t=31

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    • icon
      Uriel-238 (profile), 23 Sep 2015 @ 12:16pm

      Piracy

      This is exactly the sort of situation for which piracy rises.

      Obviously Daraprim is going to be smuggled in from other sources and sold -- still at an inflated price, but not $750/pill -- by dope pirates. If the pirates are nice they may even undercut the $14/pill price, since people will be paying out of pocket.

      We had the same problem with oysters and media once.

      Hoist the colors high!

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 22 Sep 2015 @ 6:13pm

    Why is this legal?

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

    • identicon
      Wendy Cockcroft, 24 Sep 2015 @ 5:37am

      Re:

      Because someone blew the "Socialist" dog whistle last time you had a chance to sort your healthcare out.

      Stop. Reacting. To dog whistle words!!

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

  • identicon
    DigDug, 22 Sep 2015 @ 7:34pm

    Time for attempted murder charges against this asshole...

    Anyone who can no longer take the medication because it's been priced out of what their insurance or bank-accounts can afford can now press attempted murder charges on him personally.

    He's the one that forced the price hike, he's the one who chose to make it tougher, if not down-right impossible for people to get this drug without a fucking care in the world for the people it would hurt or kill.

    Sounds like pre-meditated to me.

    I hope Shkreli enjoys what's about to happen to him once the thousands of attempted murder charges are levied against him.

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

    • icon
      Uriel-238 (profile), 23 Sep 2015 @ 12:19pm

      Murder charges

      I'm pretty sure Shkreli is above petty law and can hunt kidnapped, impoverished toddlers in his garden with live ammo on weekends if he wanted.

      On the first Sunday of the month he invites the local precinct to join him.

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

    • identicon
      Wendy Cockcroft, 24 Sep 2015 @ 5:39am

      Re: Time for attempted murder charges against this asshole...

      I'm fairly certain that nobody has ever faced such charges for pricing medicines out of the reach of normal people.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 22 Sep 2015 @ 9:51pm

    the less people alive that need expensive treatments means less competition for those same treatments.

    By killing off the less fortunate he is making the world a better place for the wealthy.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 22 Sep 2015 @ 10:02pm

    And this is why you want to leave some things up to government regulations or better, to nationalize it.

    Yup, that means that medical drugs would be something either made by the government, or left up to businesses but subject to heavy regulations, particularly regarding the price, level of healthcare and such.


    Healthcare (among other things) is something that shouldn't be left up to private actors (at best, they would coexist, though I don't like that idea). And no, I don't mean healthcare "for the poor", like the medicare or whatever is called, but I'm talking about regular healthcare.

    Free market in this issue means "kill market". At best is "blackmail market".


    And those complaining about taxes or whatever... well, what you are not paying in taxes, you're paying it in medical insurance. Or in rip-offs like this one. And probably, more expensive than what healthcare taxes would cost you.


    With the extra that every time you go to the doctor, you have to figure out either how you're going to pay him, if your insurance will cover it, or if it will be very expensive (and thus, your insurance company will up the prices).

    IMO, a person in a hospital should only care about getting better, not about paying it or not.


    Remember that when it's a business, their goal isn't to get you healthy, but to get money out of you. We got a saying here: "if you need to have a low-risk surgery or treatment, private healthcare is faster; but if your life is at risk, you're safer in a public hospital".


    And those thinking about "how lucky I am that I don't live in the US" should do well to remember TiSA. And to remember that you want to oppose it because of news like this one.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 22 Sep 2015 @ 10:37pm

      Re:

      The only thing worse than a privatized, virtually unregulated healthcare system would have to be something pretty weird, like, I dunno, privatizing prisons. And that'd just be crazy.

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

      • icon
        tqk (profile), 23 Sep 2015 @ 9:11am

        Re: Re:

        ... something pretty weird, like, I dunno, privatizing prisons.

        That's profitable because they only privatized part of the chain. If they also had to investigate, charge, try and convict malefactors in order to get the bodies to store in those prisons, it'd be far less profitable. The private prison network/industry is getting a free subsidy from the taxpayers which produces inmates for it. Sweet deal.

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

    • identicon
      AJ, 23 Sep 2015 @ 6:35am

      Re:

      Right, because socialized medicine has worked out so well for the rest of the world. /s Every Govt program I've ever researched has been riddled with fraud, waste, and abuse. The U.S. Govt has never taken over a program from the private sector and made it more cost effective, efficient, easier to navigate, and generally better.

      Privatization may not be the answer, but handing it over to the Gov would be catastrophic. Look at Obama care! Since it's come into play, my premiums have doubled, and my deductible is 6K.. 6K!!!!!!!!???? WTF! I pay twice as much, and I'm not getting any better care! What's basically happened is; I'm paying for people that can't/won't pay... all they did is take my hard earned money and give it to someone else... I would rather the Gov not help me anymore.. It's going to bankrupt me.

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

      • icon
        PaulT (profile), 23 Sep 2015 @ 7:08am

        Re: Re:

        "Every Govt program I've ever researched has been riddled with fraud, waste, and abuse"

        ...and the private sector isn't? I suppose it's down to how you define "waste", I suppose, but often that's removed by abusing employees so it's all semantics.

        "Since it's come into play, my premiums have doubled, and my deductible is 6K"

        I've never paid a deductible in my life. nor a direct premium.

        Oh, yeah, I'm in one of those socialised countries so my taxes pay for it, but I'd rather have that than face a system where I could be bankrupted, refused care or anything else that gets in the way of someone's profits. From what I've seen, I pay far less than Americans too, even though I have access to both public and private care (part of my employment benefits).

        "I'm paying for people that can't/won't pay"

        You have done for your entire life, one way or another - and often in the most expensive, least efficient, most wasteful way possible.

        Shame you don't know enough to realise that.

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

        • identicon
          AJ, 23 Sep 2015 @ 8:11am

          Re: Re: Re:

          "You have done for your entire life, one way or another - and often in the most expensive, least efficient, most wasteful way possible.

          Shame you don't know enough to realise that."

          I make the same amount of money I did before, but I bring home significantly less now. I pay significantly more for health care per year out of my check and I have to set aside 6K per year instead of 3K on a flex card to make sure I've got enough set aside to cover my deductible. We didn't socialize our healthcare, we just made a bad situation worse. We can still be bankrupted, we can still be refused (not counting stabilization and life threatening) care.. for the contributors, it's the same basic system but it costs a lot more now.

          I've worked my whole life, carefully planning how much money I set aside based on my health needs. I purchased a plan that covered the catastrophic situations, and a general plan for everyday needs. I was in charge of my health, I decided what and how I was cared for... My health care decisions were mine. Now my options are limited, and the plans I want are cost prohibitive.

          If you want to hand over your health care system to the Gov't. Knock yourself out, but don't force your socialized bullshit on the rest of us. I would much rather use the Govt to regulate a health industry, and make that industry compete for my business than hand over the keys to the castle to the Gov't who historically speaking, use these types of programs for political purposes and for their own benefit.

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

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 23 Sep 2015 @ 8:38am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Knock yourself out, but don't force your socialized bullshit on the rest of us. I would much rather use the Govt to regulate a health industry, and make that industry compete for my business...

            How's that been working out for you so far?

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

            • identicon
              AJ, 23 Sep 2015 @ 8:49am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              It was working out great, right up to the point where Obama fucked it up with "Obama Care". Now..... not so much.

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

              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 23 Sep 2015 @ 10:37am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                Yeah, I'm sure it was. For you. Now with everyone else having access to the same, it sucks, right?

                Well, you can thank the conservatives for shooting down single payer - which would've actually sparked competition, and actually CAUSE capitalism, by giving the insurance companies a run for their money.

                You've got what you got because you were more interested in protecting the insurance companies who were screwing you over just the same before. Just like most of you idiots who run around screaming "SOCIALISM" you get conned instead into voting against your own best interests.

                You've got what you got because you put profits before actual health care. Someone's just GOT to make a buck, even at the expense of lives (well, except when it comes to abortion, right?).

                I'm happy to hear that YOU personally have been affected. What you have is CAPITALISM, and the insurance companies simply recouping their losses at your expense. Or, business as usual.

                Surely you can understand the capitalist way, right?

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

                • identicon
                  AJ, 23 Sep 2015 @ 11:09am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  Your so full of shit. I've been carrying sorry ass people like you my whole life. You may want the Gov titty in your mouth for life, but I would rather work hard and be free. Freedom isn't easy, it means you work your ass off, and with hard work and determination, you get the opportunity to pull yourself above the rest. You don't have the fucking RIGHT to succeed, you get the chance, just like everyone else. You want health care? Then you work hard and buy it, just like everyone else turd, stand on your own feet, I"m not going to carry you.

                  Not all of us are equal, some of us have disabilities and legitimate problems that make it physically/mentally impossible to stand on your own feet. I get that. I'm prepared to do my part and help support them. Support them by helping them train and learn a skill so that they may contribute in some way to society. If at that point we find they simply cannot stand on their feet or contribute, then we do what we have to do to carry them, but we exhaust all other possibilities first.

                  We do need some Gov regulation in the health industry. Like all things, there needs to be a balance. A balance between profits and humanity. Profits so that we continue to innovate and develop, humanity so we don't forget our fellow man.

                  Everyone had the opportunity to the same health care I had. I purchased it through the open market. I got a fucking job, worked my ass off putting myself through school, racking up student loans and debt to do it. I got my education on my own back, paid off my own debt's, got a fucking job, and made the shit happen. Don't be scared you fucking leech, you can do it too, I believe in you!

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                    Anonymous Coward, 23 Sep 2015 @ 11:25am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    Well then Mr. Successful guy, keep at your job, keep paying your premiums, and go fuck yourself while you're at it!

                    Stop complaining on here that your costs went up because of Obamacare. They went up because the greedy fucking insurance companies have idiots like you voting against single payer because "socialism."

                    You got your fucking capitalism, right here with this drug going up 5000% - enjoy it, and save me the story on how you work for this that and the other thing - I don't give anything close to a shit.

                    What I'm happy to see is people like YOU being affected by basic needs like this - if there's anyone more deserving of rising health care costs, it's YOU!

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                      AJ, 23 Sep 2015 @ 11:53am

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                      "Stop complaining on here that your costs went up because of Obamacare. They went up because the greedy fucking insurance companies have idiots like you voting against single payer because "socialism." "

                      Wrong wrong wrong! They went up because you, and people like you, are fucking leeches. You wanted your free health care, well you want it scrubb, you got it. Enjoy your Gov mandated health care, mommy Gov will be making all the decisions for you now. Eventually you won't be contributing enough to make it worth those expensive procedures keeping you alive, mommy Gov may have to put you down by withholding treatment. It's really for your own good! Think you can just go to a private practice and pay for the procedure? I don't think so.. mommy gov has an estate tax, it doesn't make a lot of since to let you spend all that hard earned money of yours on health care before they get their chunk, I'm sure you understand!

                      "What I'm happy to see is people like YOU being affected by basic needs like this - if there's anyone more deserving of rising health care costs, it's YOU!"

                      Ahh.. see, that's where it get's interesting. If you know anything about basic business, and I'm not assuming you do because your obviously a socialist leech, you would understand that because I'm hiring employee's now, I actually don't pay for anything. I pass along cost one way or the other. Either my employee's foot the bill, or my customers do, either way it won't be me. And I realize your feeble mind can't wrap itself around this simple fact, but try... I HAVE to pass along those costs or they won't have a job, and I won't have a business. So it really is in their best interest that I do so.

                      You keep on clinging to that Gov tit if it makes you feel better leech. I'll keep pulling the cart for now. Eventually 'm going to get tired though, and you'll have to get your fat ass off the cart and pull it yourself... but until then, enjoy the ride.

                      Margret Thatcher said it best;
                      "“The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people's money.”

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                      • identicon
                        Anonymous Coward, 23 Sep 2015 @ 12:18pm

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                        I pass along cost one way or the other. Either my employee's foot the bill, or my customers do, either way it won't be me.

                        If that's truly the case, THEN QUIT BITCHING! Again, passing on costs is THE SAME THING THE INSURANCE COMPANIES ARE DOING (and the same thing YOU'RE complaining about). You said yourself you're not paying for it - stop coming off like some "I just barely make it, but now I can barely make it even less!" kind of person.

                        Fucking whiny capitalist bitches - complaining when other compaines do the same thing they do...hypocrite much?

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                          AJ, 23 Sep 2015 @ 12:56pm

                          Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                          "If that's truly the case, THEN QUIT BITCHING! Again, passing on costs is THE SAME THING THE INSURANCE COMPANIES ARE DOING (and the same thing YOU'RE complaining about). "

                          Are you learning impaired? I said costs went up BECAUSE the socialist got involved. They, and I do mean the leeches like yourself, caused this mess we call Obama Care. Now, I do believe something needed to be done regarding increasing costs.. even before Obama Care it was on the verge of getting out of control, but the current state is not an improvement at all, it's much much worse.. they should have increased competition by opening up the markets, not closed them off even more and forced people to buy something they couldn't afford/didn't want.... and then subsidized it, shifting the costs over to the middle class....

                          "Fucking whiny capitalist bitches - complaining when other compaines do the same thing they do...hypocrite much?"

                          One more time for my new feeble minded socialist friend; My only complaint is that the Gov got involved and caused my nice medical coverage to be out of reach, and I had to settle for a half ass thought out program that forced me to carry other leaches like yourself. But as I mentioned before, I soon will be passing off the costs to my employee's, so I'll be able to afford my health plan again, and yes it will be on the backs of the people that work for me... You could say I get to spend a little time on the cart no?

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                            Anonymous Coward, 23 Sep 2015 @ 1:06pm

                            Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                            even before Obama Care it was on the verge of getting out of control, but the current state is not an improvement at all, it's much much worse..

                            Ahh, I see...and the conservatives, who are hell bent against this socialism scourge, are fixing this as we speak...oh wait...

                            It's you who are full of shit. You're whiny, complaining, but doing so successful, nonetheless, on the backs of your employees! And over health care...that's why there needs to be socialism with respect to health care IN THE FIRST PLACE.

                            Companies LIKE YOURS, who are so concerned with your own bottom line, that you'd simply have your employees make a choice between say, health care and food, but complain like a whiny bitch when it cuts into your discretionary spending.

                            Go fuck yourself, you hypocritical piece of shit!

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                              Anonymous Coward, 23 Sep 2015 @ 1:24pm

                              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                              Ever had a poor man give you a job? Ever actually had a job turd? You want my money, but you don't want to earn it, you want the government to take it from me, and give it to you. Your a leech, the dredge of society. Honor, sacrifice, discipline are words you hear when you watch a Few Good Men, they mean nothing to you. But all is not lost...I have hope for my newly found socialist turd friend. I wager one day you will have something you worked very hard to get, and someone else who doesn't want to work to get what you have, will use the Gov to take it from you. Then you will see. It WILL happen.

                              Until then, I"ll go fuck myself as you've asked :) But please keep in mind; Eventually you will have to pull yourself off the Gov tit, When you do, look me up, I might give you a job.

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                                Anonymous Coward, 23 Sep 2015 @ 1:33pm

                                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                                Yeah, actually, I do work. I earn very good money, and have been for the last 20+ years. It's people like you who just assume that if you want to see things better for everyone, that you MUST be one who needs something.

                                What I refuse to do is say that people should be denied health care because they can't afford it. Companies have head decades to "do the right thing" and have chosen profits over basic human needs. This article shows exactly that.

                                You are no different, in subsidizing your golf game on the backs of your employees. Take solace in having "earned" that - after all, even assholes deserve a break.

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                                  TriXx, 23 Sep 2015 @ 1:58pm

                                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                                  "What I refuse to do is say that people should be denied health care because they can't afford it. Companies have head decades to "do the right thing" and have chosen profits over basic human needs. This article shows exactly that."

                                  How so? One guy does something totally stupid, and the media are having a field day with him. He's going to get what he has coming to him. That doesn't mean the whole system needs to be socialized. Perhaps more regulation, but socialization? That's not going to fix anything, your just going to make it worse.

                                  "What I refuse to do is say that people should be denied health care because they can't afford it."

                                  Who pays for it? You think it should come from the government, therefore the people? Who is the government to decide what is best for my money? Why not let me decide how much I have to give? It is charity after all right?

                                  People already can't be denied treatment in the U.S. for life threatening issues. By law they can't be turned away for treatment.. what else do you want? Everything should be free? The crook in jail should get the same treatment as a Policeman? Where do we draw the line? Who gets to choose?

                                  The system is broke. But insurance companies have been allowed to do what they've done, who do you think allowed them? You think socializing health care, giving more power to a government that's allowed it to get this bad already, will fix things? I think your crazy if you think the U.S. Government can "fix" a broken system. They've destroyed every program they've ever touched.

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                                    Uriel-238 (profile), 23 Sep 2015 @ 2:36pm

                                    "It is charity after all"

                                    There's a reason that Promote the General Welfare is in the preamble to the US Constitution. The churches and charities have never been adequate enough to sustain those that are impoverished.

                                    We like to imagine that ours is a society in which anyone can find work, and can find adequate work for reasonable hours in safe conditions that is enough to sustain themselves and children. In fact, that was essential to the American Dream before the California Gold Rush changed all that in 1849.

                                    The US has more wealth-per-capita than ever, but its distribution is so disparate that we have five times as many unused homes as we have homeless. We dump food to rot and compost while people starve. Here in San Francisco, there are five times as many homeless as there are beds, including and this is the nation capital of the non-profit humanitarian community. The US looks more and more every year like Mexico with its grand hotels with walls to block the squalor from view.

                                    It take more than charity to fix this. And we could do better if we wanted.

                                    But as you demonstrated, we just don't value our fellow Americans. Our fellow human beings. Perhaps you'd rather we leave the refuge and resources of the downtrodden to the workhouses and prisons.

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                                      tqk (profile), 26 Sep 2015 @ 11:23am

                                      Re: "It is charity after all"

                                      It's okay though, you know? The system is self-correcting. We're mortal and eventually die. Problem solved. :-)

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                                        Uriel-238 (profile), 26 Sep 2015 @ 12:43pm

                                        I'm a sentimentalist, I guess.

                                        I have always thought of Christmas time, when it has come round, as a good time; a kind, forgiving, charitable time; the only time I know of, in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely, and to think of people below them as if they really were fellow passengers to the grave, and not another race of creatures bound on other journeys.

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                                          tqk (profile), 26 Sep 2015 @ 3:11pm

                                          Re: I'm a sentimentalist, I guess.

                                          One of my English teachers accused me of being a hopeless romantic. I'm still not really sure what she meant.
                                          I have always thought of Christmas time, when it has come round, as a good time; a kind, forgiving, charitable time; ...

                                          I've always seen it cynically. "Alright, I just have to be nice to people for this one week, and then I can go back to treating everybody like shit? I can do that." Never had much Xmas spirit in my heart. What's with all the presents one-upmanship? Don't need it. Don't see any point in it. Enjoy it if you like it. I ignore it. :-)

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                                Uriel-238 (profile), 23 Sep 2015 @ 2:15pm

                                "You want my money, but you don't want to earn it."

                                Tell me you believe that Martin Shkreli earns his gazillions by gouging dying people for their life-sustaining medication.

                                How about Romney while we works for Bain Capital using legal loopholes to bankrupt corporations, walking away with the loan money while the banks and the government foot the bill. Does he earn his money?

                                And then how about the troops in Afghanistan who are put in harms way, and have to face enemy fire on our behalf (even though we don't necessarily want them there). Their families are on food stamps or would be if the USArmy would let them. (They don't because it looks bad if USArmy families are on food stamps. So they just starve.)

                                (Actually they don't starve. Like Americans during the great depression, they live on a less-than-subsistance diet and slowly die of malnutrition.)

                                Oh and how about a friend of mine who has suffered from two accidents of being hit as a pedestrian by a motor vehicle. In both cases, she had the right of way. In both cases the drivers had little to no insurance. She used to provide tutoring for special-needs kids. Now her brain doesn't function well enough to teach. Tell me, should we just let her die?

                                You reap the benefits of living in a large society, but you don't consider and therefore gripe at the costs. Enough people like you and we end up with what we have now, a nation impoverished where they fudge the numbers to make it seem like it's right and acceptable that the nuclear family cannot sustain itself with two breadwinners on minimum wage, meanwhile no-one is parenting the children. And now we have adults who cannot function for it.

                                Want and Ignorance must be your favorite Christmas characters.

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                                  TriXx, 23 Sep 2015 @ 2:36pm

                                  Re: "You want my money, but you don't want to earn it."

                                  "Tell me you believe that Martin Shkreli earns his gazillions by gouging dying people for their life-sustaining medication."

                                  He's already getting his, the media is/are going to crucify him. You don't need to socialize medicine to fix that problem :).

                                  "And then how about the troops in Afghanistan who are put in harms way, and have to face enemy fire on our behalf (even though we don't necessarily want them there). Their families are on food stamps or would be if the USArmy would let them. (They don't because it looks bad if USArmy families are on food stamps. So they just starve.)"

                                  I've got 4 tours in the Gulf under my belt, 3 of which were in a combat zone. I chose to serve my country, it was a sacrifice. I didn't make much either, but it was my choice. It sucks that I qualified for food stamps, but service is about service, not making money... The Army had/has plenty of programs that did/does help out, I used them. They worked.

                                  "You reap the benefits of living in a large society, but you don't consider and therefore gripe at the costs."

                                  I don't think he was complaining that he had to pay, he was paying before Obama care... I looks to me like he was complaining that as soon as the Government got involved, he had to pay much more than before, and got much less... it's a legit gripe I think.

                                  This is a tough one. The Government is a train wreck, messing up everything they touch, acting like Robin Hood and taking from one and giving to another... and big business is designed to make money, no humanity involved just money. Maybe the answer is neither.. let the people themselves decide what to do with their money.

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                                    Uriel-238 (profile), 25 Sep 2015 @ 12:40pm

                                    Sacrifice

                                    I've got 4 tours in the Gulf under my belt, 3 of which were in a combat zone. I chose to serve my country, it was a sacrifice. I didn't make much either, but it was my choice. It sucks that I qualified for food stamps, but service is about service, not making money... The Army had/has plenty of programs that did/does help out, I used them. They worked.

                                    Yeah, this has been bothering me ever since.

                                    Being a soldier is a sacrifice in that soldiers are sent into harms way and come back with injuries (as often psychological ones as physiological ones) or they don't come back at all. It should not be a sacrifice that the United States treats them and their family like so much dirt, all the while.

                                    Our DoD budget is more than the military budgets of all the rest of the world put together, and we spend enormous amounts on high-tech gear that doesn't pan out (and often is sold to the government at grossly inflated prices). Certainly they can extend to the troops (and their families) the best gear, the best supply and the best health-care that money can buy.

                                    And, oh man, they so don't.

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                                PaulT (profile), 23 Sep 2015 @ 11:59pm

                                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                                Why are you morons always convinced that people who advocate for better healthcare aren't working. Are you that ignorant?

                                I'll bet you're the kind of idiot who thinks that only unemployed people are on food stamps, as well.

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                  • identicon
                    Kristen, 11 Oct 2015 @ 9:26pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    AJ, Do you think the skyrocketing costs of older drugs and biotech firms expecting insurance companies, Medicare, and the VA to finance their companies has anything at all to do with the price increase? Or do you think IBX ate the costs of 5,000% price increases (this has happened tons of times over the past decade) out of the kindness of their hearts and our premiums only increased because Obama aimed at providing our shitty health care to more people?

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                    • icon
                      Uriel-238 (profile), 11 Oct 2015 @ 10:07pm

                      Doomed to fail

                      I think that an insurance-based system in which our insurance is expected to cover costs presents a moral hazard in which the person agreeing to treatment (and invested in treatment working) is not the same as the entity that pays for it.

                      If the patient has control, then prices inflate, since the question of treatment is not affected by pricing.

                      If the insurance company has control then they will actively choose to let expensive patients die off (or suffer without treatment) which is what we had before the ACA with the whole pre-existing condition controversy.

                      And there becomes a conflict between doctors who are compelled to treat, patients who (of course) want to continue to live, and third-party providers who want to capitalize on these compulsions.

                      And this is why Big Pharma has gotten really big, and now only wants to treat rich people that they can overcharge.

                      The problem is that it leaves a whole lot of non-rich people who really do not want to die, and who have families who are quite irate that someone could have saved their loved ones, and chose to withhold treatment.

                      Someone wrote something something indifferent bourgeoisie blah-blah outraged proletariat yada valid grievance. My mind escapes me but it seemed relevant.

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                PaulT (profile), 23 Sep 2015 @ 11:56pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                "It was working out great"

                For you, so long as you ignored the fact that you were still paying more per capita on healthcare than any other country on Earth and a large proportion of your population still had zero access to care outside of the ER.

                For those who couldn't get insurance due to pre-existing conditions, those who were bankrupted by healthcare (something impossible to do under the system I enjoy btw), those who lacked preventative care and were crippled by preventable diseases, etc? Not so much.

                "I've got mine, f**k you" is a poor way to run a healthcare system.

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            PaulT (profile), 23 Sep 2015 @ 11:53pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Funny how not a word of what you typed there actually addressed what you quoted.

            You, in case you're still ignorant of the fact, have been paying for other peoples' healthcare your entire life. When you pay your premiums and don't claim, some of your money goes to pay for others' claims (or into the pockets of the insurance company's CEO if not).

            But, it gets better. You've been paying for 3 other healthcare systems you can't even access (Medicare, Medicaid, VA). On top of that, what do you think happens when people can't pay their bills either because they're uninsured, go bankrupt, or they're refused coverage by their insurance company? YOU DO!

            You've been paying way too much for others your entire working life, but you'd rather keep that broken system because you're scared of your own government.

            "the Gov't who historically speaking, use these types of programs for political purposes and for their own benefit."

            And private insurers never do? You're deluded.

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              Anonymous Coward, 24 Sep 2015 @ 4:24am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              I think we will just have to agree to disagree Paul. I respect your convictions, and it truly seem's you believe what you say and your not just a troll as I suspected.

              I'm not afraid of my Government, I'm terrified. They have wrecked every program we've given them. We've already tried to give them a health care system, and they wrecked it. Look at the V.A. .... It's government health care, and it's completely wrecked. Medicare/Medicaid = wrecked. I'm not making this shit up, look it up for yourself. The government HAS wrecked every system they've put their hands on.

              "But, it gets better. You've been paying for 3 other healthcare systems you can't even access (Medicare, Medicaid, VA)."

              On the contrary, I'm a disabled combat veteran. I've used V.A. hospitals enough to know that I don't want to use them. I would much rather pay insurance and shop for my own doctor and hospital based on their performance than get stuffed in a disgusting waiting room in an underfunded, politically run, completely incompetent V.A. hospital.

              " On top of that, what do you think happens when people can't pay their bills either because they're uninsured, go bankrupt, or they're refused coverage by their insurance company? YOU DO!"

              Yes. I have to pay for stabilization care for people that don't have insurance and can't afford it. I understand that. It's the price you pay for living in a modern society. I'm fine with that. I honestly hope no one ever gets turned away, and we already have laws to prevent hospitals from turning people away.

              "You've been paying way too much for others your entire working life, but you'd rather keep that broken system because you're scared of your own government."

              YES I would. I am indeed terrified of my own government. They are completely out of control. You see story after story, many on this site, showing how out of control they are. That is the exact reason I don't want to give them our health care. At least with the private sector, we know what they are up to, profits. We can regulate that, we can pass laws that force humanity onto the corporations. It's not a perfect system, but it's better than handing over our health care to a corrupt, self serving, politically motivated, politician that could drastically change things based on if they are right or left.

              "And private insurers never do? You're deluded."

              Not usually no. Private insurers are about money. That is their motivation, that is their singular goal. It's easy to see, and relatively easy to regulate if you can find a non-corrupt politician to actually pass a bill.

              I can concede that the health care system needs to be regulated. It needs watch dogs, oversight, whatever.... but handing ANYTHING of importance to the Government is a TERRIBLE idea and historically speaking, has never worked out well for the people.

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                PaulT (profile), 24 Sep 2015 @ 5:22am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                "it truly seem's you believe what you say and your not just a troll as I suspected"

                Why would you suspect that?

                "Look at the V.A. .... It's government health care, and it's completely wrecked. Medicare/Medicaid = wrecked"

                Partly due to the massive inefficiency of having 3 systems + the rest of the crap that's in your systems, partly due to constant underfunding and partly due to deliberate crippling from corporate-led interests (e.g. Medicare not being allowed to negotiate prices).

                But, what's your private sector alternative? The old system was broken for millions of Americans too, if you recall.

                "On the contrary, I'm a disabled combat veteran. I've used V.A. hospitals enough to know that I don't want to use them."

                OK, this is the problem with your vague ranting. Not only do I not know what your insurance was before, the reasons why it changed and the alternatives that are available to you (have you honestly researched them, or just taken your insurances company's word that it's the ACA's fault?), I have no way of knowing your personal status.

                As with you, I have made some assumptions. In that case, I'm sorry that you're paying taxes for systems you refuse to access rather than ones you can't. But, what's your alternative? Bear in mind that the reason government is running VA is because veterans will be among the most expensive to treat and thus least attractive to private insurers.

                "I don't want to give them our health care."

                In many other systems, the care is run by doctors. It's the funding and regulation that's handled by the government. Why do you insist that the healthcare itself needs to be given to the government.

                "We can regulate that, we can pass laws that force humanity onto the corporations"

                Unless your own bills go up as a result, apparently. Millions were helped by "Obamacare", which among other things stopped people from being refused due to pre-existing conditions or sold useless plans whose lifetime caps disappeared the second you needed serious treatment. It even provided subsidies for those unable to pay.

                But *your* bill went up, so you're opposed to those regulations. Which regulations would you have preferred?

                "Not usually no. Private insurers are about money."

                Which is why they do those things. That's why the employ people to refuse payment and care, why they refuse coverage to people with prior illnesses, why they bankrupt people who cannot afford to pay already inflated prices. Why they raise prices as high as they can and blame someone else if it's convenient.

                "handing ANYTHING of importance to the Government is a TERRIBLE idea and historically speaking, has never worked out well for the people"

                American exceptionalism at its finest. You always claim you can't do what has already happened in every other developed country, and often more efficiently too. Why are you exceptionally unable to do these things?

                Do other systems have problems? Sure. But, it's not founded on the level of inefficiency and inhumanity that yours has been. I do have a personal stake in this - my uncle who emigrated to the US was bankrupted by his wife's illnesses, but 3 months of intensive care for my father in the UK only cost daily parking & coffee. The only reason I can think that someone would defend this is the "I'm alright Jack" mentality - that others are OK to suffer just so long as you're not personally affected.

                We can agree to disagree, but I'm always mystified at the knee-jerk reaction this issue raises. You're passionately defending a system that's guaranteed to put profit over your very life if they're allowed to, but equally convinced that something that's been achieved in every first world country is impossible. It's a very weird thing to my mind.

                I'm not as scared of the government as I am of someone who will refuse life-saving treatment because it cuts into their bottom line.

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                • identicon
                  AJ, 24 Sep 2015 @ 8:08am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  I did some research on the UK health system. It is indeed very nice. You do pay for it, the tax footprint/cost of living/ average wage/cost of housing all take a pretty big hit, and national insurance can cost up to 25% of your income.. basically; the more you make, the more you pay.. but paying more doesn't mean you get better care.

                  It's robin hood eh? Communist manifesto? From each according to their ability, to each according to their needs? The state will be the one determining how much health care you get, and how much you contribute? Maybe it works for the U.K., glad if it does, good luck with that here....

                  "but 3 months of intensive care for my father in the UK only cost daily parking & coffee. "

                  Wrong Wrong Wrong... it was still expensive, your father only paid the "daily parking & coffee." amount, the rest of the money was taken from someone else and given to your father. I hope he made a full recover, but he did so on someone's dime.. it wasn't free.

                  That treatment would have probably bankrupted him in the US., unless of course he had insurance and supplemental insurance like i did. I paid a premium for what i had, i was covered damn near 100%. But I had a choice, and I decided that is what I wanted to spend my money on, but at least I had a choice on how to spend my money. If you live in the U.K., you may get free-ish healthcare, but you don't have a choice, it's been made for you.

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

                  • icon
                    PaulT (profile), 24 Sep 2015 @ 11:16am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    "national insurance can cost up to 25% of your income"

                    The NHS is not the only thing that national insurance pays for. Also, do you have a citation for the 25% figure? I don't see it in any of my official documentation, although it's been a few years since I left my homeland (to another TWO socialist healthcare systems - one in the country where I work, the other where I live - the horror!)

                    "Communist manifesto?"

                    So, you're another twat who doesn't understand the basic differences between capitalism, socialism and communism. Why should I take your opinions seriously when you can't operate a dictionary?

                    "The state will be the one determining how much health care you get"

                    No more than a private insurance company does. Is there any reason people like you give people with a profit motive a pass but grill elected officials for the same thing? If you're going to spout free market bollocks, there's a reason why healthcare isn't a free market. See if you can work it out.

                    "Wrong Wrong Wrong... it was still expensive, your father only paid the "daily parking & coffee." amount"

                    My father paid nothing because he was in the ICU. My family paid the rest... and we got what we paid for by paying into the NHS for our entire working lives. That included the 40+years my father had paid into the system, by the way.

                    Yet, you would support a system that would not only take that money from you, but charge you more to the point of bankruptcy? Yeah, I'm the one who's mistaken...

                    "That treatment would have probably bankrupted him in the US"

                    ...and it bankrupted nobody in the UK. What's the problem?

                    "If you live in the U.K., you may get free-ish healthcare, but you don't have a choice, it's been made for you."

                    Whereas if you live in the US, you pay for Medicare, Medicaid, the VA AND a private insurer, and you might not get care from any of them.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 22 Sep 2015 @ 11:18pm

    I wish Martin Shkreli would come clean about the 5,000% price increase being necessary to buy a new 200 foot Mega Yacht. That way he can float on the tears of the sick and dying.

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

  • icon
    voiceofReason (profile), 23 Sep 2015 @ 5:13am

    False Logic

    One hardly needs a course in basic Economics to realize that the quoted material below does not constitute a valid argument:

    " Pharmaceutical companies enjoy massive profit margins, much more than would be expected if they were faced with meaningful competition. The lie is exposed when patents expire. Prices fall dramatically once the market is opened, including that of the original manufacturer's. "

    Any time a market opens up prices will invariably fall, now that there are new competitors. This is not an argument that there are "massive profit margins" that are inappropriate given the large R&D that is done for both the specific drug and all the others that failed.

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

    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 23 Sep 2015 @ 7:16am

      Re: False Logic

      "the large R&D that is done for both the specific drug and all the others that failed"

      By the lab he's just bought the US marketing rights from. Not by this company.

      If he wishes to release the figures that justify a 5500% price increase, maybe people will even be sympathetic to a product that's not only been so underpriced it hasn't recouped in 70 years, but a business deal done so poorly that all of those costs transferred to a company that's only marketing to one country.

      Otherwise, that's pure bull in defence of greed over and above peoples' lives.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 23 Sep 2015 @ 7:25am

    I hope this scumbag gets an illness that quickly depletes him of his wealth.

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

    • icon
      tqk (profile), 23 Sep 2015 @ 9:25am

      Re:

      I hope this scumbag gets an illness that quickly depletes him of his wealth.

      He will. He's mortal. We just need to suffer his existence a little while longer. Too bad his demise won't fix the demented system those like him abuse, nor ease the suffering of those subject to its whims.

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

  • icon
    hopponit (profile), 23 Sep 2015 @ 3:13pm

    drug price

    I went to the web and checked the current price to order this pill from Canada. I found a price of $1.75 per pill. I went to https://www.northdrugstore.com/buy-Daraprim.html.

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

  • identicon
    Wendy Cockcroft, 24 Sep 2015 @ 2:40am

    Thank you for mentioning the patent problem, Tim. While you are right that this is not a patent issue per se, I believe we're agreed that getting patents off drugs would do a lot towards breaking the power of Big Pharma and people like Schkreli.

    You have correctly pointed out that the market doesn't offer solutions to the provision of drugs for rare conditions because there's little in the way of profit in it. Has anybody else noticed this?

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 25 Sep 2015 @ 8:05am

    Short

    This is Elly. She is a cancer patient.

    This is Martin Screw-Elly. He is a greedy bastard.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 25 Sep 2015 @ 8:36am

      Re: Short

      Elly is no longer a cancer victim, she is now a Turing victim.

      THE END...
      ...For Elly

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

      • identicon
        GEMont, 25 Sep 2015 @ 10:22pm

        Re: Re: Short

        You might as well get used to this sort of thing.

        As the laws that protect the peasants from the parasites are slowly altered from nation to nation through the use of phony "trade agreements/treaties", to allow the mega-wealthy to profit unhampered, this is the sort of creature that will rise to the top of the success ladder and rule the earth from his ivory tower.

        After all, the game is "how much can you get, by any means available", and the rules are quite simple:

        anyone who is unwilling to do the things necessary to reach the top, deserves to become food for those who are willing to do whatever it takes.

        Its the capitalist/fascist motto.

        Compassion is a weakness. Passion is better.
        Altruism is a weakness. Self aggrandizement is better.
        Love is a weakness, unless its the love of winning in the game.

        The world is currently ruled and directed by people just like this smiling, evil, parasite, albeit most are actually slightly more human still, but they all see suffering, pain and disease as a means to profit - period.

        It is essentially why we have long ago stopped curing diseases, and why 90% of our pharmacopia is composed of poisons that cause harm and merely mask the symptoms of disease, by shutting down the parts of the body that react to those symptoms, leaving the disease intact.

        To creatures like this, other people facing adversity is merely the universe offering the advantage of opportunity to those who see it for what it is. To end the suffering of others is to destroy an opportunity for personal monetary advancement.

        Like I said, you might as well get used to it, since most of you actually dream of being this guy, and would never do anything to limit the privileges of such creatures, lest you limit your own privileges should you someday become a wealthy parasite yourself.

        And so, Eat or Become Food, is the future of mankind.
        Or as the Street Meme puts it:

        Get rich, or die trying.

        ----

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


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