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Capitalists will have their pound of flesh

SRD
Grafter
Posts: 300
Registered: 29-04-2010

Capitalists will have their pound of flesh

29 REPLIES
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,699
Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: Capitalists will have their pound of flesh

At least their giving a replacement product free of charge, and it's not as bad a Nestle withholding baby milk from India during a famine to push the price up.
John
SRD
Grafter
Posts: 300
Registered: 29-04-2010

Re: Capitalists will have their pound of flesh

Ah, right, so it's Ok to strangle someone just as long as we offer them an airline to breathe through whilst we're doing it?
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,699
Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: Capitalists will have their pound of flesh

Didn't say that, but they're not a charity, they're a business, and they aren't leaving people to die (again unlike Nestle, who were quite prepared to let babies die, not because they couldn't make a profit, but because they wanted to make more profit).
The Danish company is supplying an alternative, free of charge, to those who need it. That's hardly the same as your analogy.
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,850
Registered: 11-08-2007

Re: Capitalists will have their pound of flesh

the pharmaceutical companies are seen as corporate greed on legs and there may be some merit to that accusation.  mitigating that is the known facts of the enormous costs of research and development required to bring a drug to market, which the are duty bound to make an effort to recover.  forgotten are the numerous failures, the costs of which also need to be recouped.
the people going into this business now are the same people who have been brought up with an increased awareness of our precious biosphere and how our behaviour affects it.  these are the people who will change the ethos of big business and apply more ethical policies to their ways of doing business.
evidence for this is shown in the generosity of offering an alternative, free of charge, to those who need it.
SRD
Grafter
Posts: 300
Registered: 29-04-2010

Re: Capitalists will have their pound of flesh

Firstly we can presume that the drug being withdrawn is more effective than the free one otherwise why bother with it in the first place.
It then starts getting a little more complicated as far as the accountants are concerned. 
It would be fair to assume that the free drug has made all it's R&D costs back otherwise it would still be expensive so virtually all of the costs of the drug are production costs (normally very cheap, hence the cheapness of generic drugs) so virtually all of the income gained from its sale is pure profit, which is why the generic drug producers make such vast profits.
Assuming that the more expensive drug hasn't made its R&D costs the company can only gain financially from the situation if supply of the drug is low and the supplies that would have gone to Greece are readily saleable in other markets, in which case, I agree, the company may lose financially by continuing to supply to a customer who isn't going to pay them.  But it is far more likely that production of the more expensive drug is in full swing and the company are in fact taking advantage of the 'Licencing window' to make as much money out of the new drug before it 'goes generic' in order to provide the funds for further big bonuses R&D.  That being the case the company won't be able to shift the extra supplies anyway so the only loss is in the forecasts of how profitable the drug might be, not in actual income, so it wouldn't harm the company to keep supplying the new drug for free, or at least do a deal that would see future payments ensured once Greece has been hoisted out of its predicament.
I think the companies reaction is part of the general wish of Capitalist society to beat the Greeks about the head with the misfortunes brought upon them by a combination of their own profligacy and the greed of the Capitalist society to make a profit whether or not the products they supply are worth having in the first place.  The supply of an alternative, inferior drug is simply a realisation of how bad the company would look if it were to withdraw supply altogether.
Community Veteran
Posts: 3,826
Thanks: 44
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Registered: 24-09-2008

Re: Capitalists will have their pound of flesh

Quote
Another Danish pharmaceutical company is withdrawing products from Greece in protest at the government's decision to cut the prices of medicines by 25%
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http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/10193799.stm
Quote
Leo Pharma claims it is owed 37m euros (£31.4m) in unpaid bills by the Greek state
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Community Veteran
Posts: 1,850
Registered: 11-08-2007

Re: Capitalists will have their pound of flesh

SRD, i like your reasoning. Smiley
pierre_pierre
Grafter
Posts: 19,757
Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: Capitalists will have their pound of flesh

not really sure from the first BBC link but it looks like the one withdrawn is a one shot application, and is being replaced by just the drug that requires separate needles and syringe
itsme
Grafter
Posts: 5,924
Thanks: 1
Registered: 07-04-2007

Re: Capitalists will have their pound of flesh

For a start I would not call insulin a drug and as P_P stated above it more the device being withdrawn and from memory it's called a Penject and the cost to manufacture this is probably greater than the insulin it contain. Also the article did not state the price of it and I'm not sure whether this system is freely available on the National Health in this country as there are cheaper alternatives.
Midnight_Caller
Rising Star
Posts: 4,143
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Registered: 15-04-2007

Re: Capitalists will have their pound of flesh

I am 99.9% serton that it is Free in this country.
itsme
Grafter
Posts: 5,924
Thanks: 1
Registered: 07-04-2007

Re: Capitalists will have their pound of flesh

As the  BBC article does not mention which insulin it's withdrawing and Novo does several and I am slightly confused as the free alternative they are supplying is Glucagen. This is for the treatment of Hypoglycaemia which can be the side affect of taking too much insulin without eating. Diabetics suffer from Hyperglycaemia.
Quote
What is GlucaGen® HypoKit 1mg for?
Glucagon is used for the treatment of severe hypoglycaemic reactions (“hypo” or low blood sugar) which may occur if you have diabetes and are treated with insulin. The glucagon acts by releasing sugar into the bloodstream from glucose (or glycogen) stored in the liver. Glucagon is also used in hospitals to temporarily stop movement of the bowels during examinations of the gastrointestinal tract.
itsme
Grafter
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Registered: 07-04-2007

Re: Capitalists will have their pound of flesh

Quote from: Midnight
I am 99.9% serton that it is Free in this country.

Not all  what is needed to treat and manage diabetes are free to diabetics. The test strips could be free but the meter needed to read them are not. Going back nearly 30 years ago when I first got involved with designing Blood Glucose meters these use to at that time retail at £120. This was the same with the first PenJect, the insulin was free but the Penject was not. In fact diabetics did not get syringes free. The BDA had to fight for this for a few years after the government of the day made them free to drug addicts but diabetics still had to pay for them.
jackoab
Grafter
Posts: 368
Registered: 14-08-2007

Re: Capitalists will have their pound of flesh

As a diabetic I can assure you that under the NHS all treatments are supplied free, officially the test meters are not but if you contact the manufacturer they are only too willing to send you one free as all their profit is from the strips ans ancillary products, even if you buy a meter the cost is very low , between £5 and £20 for the latest model, also if you are referred to a Hospital they hand them out like sweets to everyone.
itsme
Grafter
Posts: 5,924
Thanks: 1
Registered: 07-04-2007

Re: Capitalists will have their pound of flesh

I know all about the meters having spent 25 years designing the cost down and sometimes during that time I would say the diabetic got an inferior product because of it. The company I worked for also did talking meters but these and others were phased out several years ago. There is a small demand for them still but no manufacturer is going to take it on board as diabetics expect them to be free. I believe everyone would be better off if the strips and meters are sold at true costs and not the strips subsidising the meters. When I left a few years ago it normally took the sell of 10x50 strip pots to break even on a meter. No problem if the meter is given to a Type 1 diabetic but Type 2 you could be looking at a loss.