The American Dream

"ralcydan" wrote:

As for disdain for profit, every scientific advance you use - from the lightbulb to antibiotics - is available to the public because somebody wanted to make a profit.

Gross overgeneralisation. Antibiotics available to the public because someone wanted to make a profit? Hogwash, sir.

Gross overgeneralisation. Antibiotics available to the public because someone wanted to make a profit? Hogwash, sir.

How do you figure? Every antibiotic available today is manufactured by a company who does so for profit. Every new antibiotic discovered is done so by companies planning to sell it for profit. The same is true of drugs for cancer, AIDS, and boners.

Unless ""Hogwash"" means ""I agree wholeheartedly, oh Wise One"" in Finnish, I''m not sure where you take issue with my statement.

It''s because I have this notion that they''d still be available even if there weren''t private companies willing to take care of manufacturing, what with it being a rather crucial bit when it comes to healthcare and all. And a lot of countries have this thing called government healthcare.

And a lot of countries have this thing called government healthcare.

Okay...then let''s ask this a different way. Can you name some of the drugs invented as a part of a government healthcare program?

Aren''t we arguing availability here, and not invention? And of course there haven''t been. There''s perfectly good universities that do research, after all.

It''s because I have this notion that they''d still be available even if there weren''t private companies willing to take care of manufacturing, what with it being a rather crucial bit when it comes to healthcare and all. And a lot of countries have this thing called government healthcare.

I can''t speak for Europe, but over here even when the government supplies something, they still buy it from a private company who produces it for profit. Maye in Europe the government is in the busines of maufacturing drugs, but I''ll bet you they still come out of development from private companies.

Aren''t we arguing availability here, and not invention? And of course there haven''t been. There''s perfectly good universities that do research, after all.

Well it certainly wouldn''t be available had it never been invented. The idea that these drugs would still have been developed in the absence of the private enterprise which created them is a dubious assumption. Even universities can''t compete with the private pharmaceutical industry.

Any type of change requires some sort of pressure - and pressure to make profits is what drives innovation and cost reduction in any product, including life-saving drugs. Also, the selfish desire of people wanting to make a buck is one of the strongest forces in the world - greater stronger than altruism and more efficient than any bureaucracy. Failure to take advantage of this means missing out on longer life, comfort, and happiness - since there''s someone out there trying to sell you all of those things.
a drug is just a product like any other

I can''t speak for Europe, but over here even when the government supplies something, they still buy it from a private company who produces it for profit. Maye in Europe the government is in the busines of maufacturing drugs, but I''ll bet you they still come out of development from private companies.

Oh, they do. I''m saying they''d be made available some other way if they weren''t.

Well it certainly wouldn''t be available had it never been invented. The idea that these drugs would still have been developed in the absence of the private enterprise which created them is a dubious assumption.

Is it now? I don''t think so. In the case of Viagra and the like it might very well be true, but regarding AIDS and other disease there''s plenty of pressure to get something done. That is, stopping the damn disease.

Any type of change requires some sort of pressure - and pressure to make profits is what drives innovation and cost reduction in any product, including life-saving drugs.

Cost reduction in manufacturing, yes. But the pressure to make a profit means the industry is going to charge whatever it can from the customers, which is very, very bad for everyone but the company.

Also, the selfish desire of people wanting to make a buck is one of the strongest forces in the world - greater stronger than altruism and more efficient than any bureaucracy.

This is certainly true today for most people, sadly, but it''s not necessarily some truth set in stone. But let''s not get this discussion too sidetracked.