Found 4 comments on HN
RamiK · 2013-09-11 · Original thread
Every standards body that is even remotely financed by governments or companies is a lie. (

Committees rulings are a lie. (

Even the most seemingly reasonable regulations are a lie. (

The sooner people realize there's no other option other than a direct democracy since governments and companies are untrustworthy, the better.

danek · 2010-01-12 · Original thread
i don't know if this is true, but i heard somewhere that drug companies don't really innovate anything.

it's the NIH and universities (via government funding) that actually discover the drugs, then they sell the exclusive rights to manufacture it to big pharma (who then spends a lot to get it approved and market it and such...)

(this is the book, i haven't read it)

so in this case (if true) patents fail again.

DaniFong · 2009-12-25 · Original thread
While I agree that certain alternative therapy based funding agencies aren't exactly an optimized system (funding energy waves? ESP? etc.) Big Pharma has its own brand of brokenness.

I read this book, and found it quite eye opening. I haven't checked up on everything that I read about, but the things I did look into were consistent with the claims...

Two things to be said about this argument.

One: Martha Angell says it's just a line of propaganda. From a review at

"In The Truth About the Drug Companies, [former editor of the New England Journal of Medicine] Angell explains how a huge portion of the revenue generated by 'Big Pharma' goes not into research and development but into aggressive marketing campaigns to sell their product. She describes how, even though the drug companies claim that it costs them an average of 802 million dollars per drug to develop new medicines, that figure is obscenely inflated since it factors in marketing as well as expected interest the company would have received had they invested the money in the open market. Meanwhile, Angell says, most of the R & D work is done by colleges and universities funded by the government. There are also problems with the drugs themselves, Angell indicates, since a majority are 'me-too drugs', slightly modified versions of existing products which meant to address concerns of consumers most likely to spend money on pharmaceuticals..."

Two: Even if I were to accept the argument at face value -- which I do not -- what it's saying is that as an American I pay far and away the highest medical costs in the developed world, yet receive no better health outcome, and have no guarantee that my insurance will actually cover me when I get sick (rather than finding a way to reject me based on some technicality)... all in order to generously subsidize drug research for the benefit of the rest of the world. Now, I like to think of myself as a generous guy, and I used to work in drug research... but screw that. I'll take Canadian or Western-European-style healthcare, peace of mind, and a check. Then we can talk about how much of my extra money I'd like to contribute to erectile-dysfunction research.

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