A tip for the mohel lobby

Fellow HA blogger Will tosses Governor Rick Perry (R-Texas) a milkbone for requiring that all 11- and 12-year-old girls entering sixth grade be vaccinated against HPV, a sexually transmitted virus that causes cervical cancer. The cost to vaccinate 170,000 sixth-grade girls is estimated at about $60 million, with private insurance covering many families’ costs. Gov. Perry’s executive order also offers free shots to all girls and women age 9 to 21 who are eligible for public assistance.

Like Will, I think vaccination is a good thing. But I’m also a tad suspicious of Gov. Perry’s unexpected leadership on this issue. Gov. Perry is one of those Republicans who has rightly earned a reputation for pandering to the religious right, a group that has loudly voiced concern that vaccinating 11-year-old girls against a sexually transmitted disease is, um, tantamount to encouraging sexual activity amongst 11-year-old girls. (Religious conservatives have such dirty minds.) So one can’t help but wonder if Gov. Perry’s sudden willingness to buck the religious right has anything to do with his close ties to the pharmaceutical company Merck, which manufactures the vaccine and stands to earn millions from the governor’s executive order?

Hmm. Male circumcision has also been proven in study after study to reduce both the incidence of cervical cancer in partners, and the likelihood of catching and transmitting HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. And yet without a powerful mohel lobby to force the issue, I don’t see any political momentum towards providing a free bris to boys on public assistance.

If only Merck could patent foreskin removal….

Comments

  1. 1

    spews:

    of course YOU are suspicious goldy…after all it’s a republican doing it. this falls under the “yeah, but his shoes are untied” category.
    merck is hardly going to get rich by doing this…..
    do you ever look at anything without being so negative?

  2. 2

    skagit spews:

    You are right look for other motives. But, have to agree with Will on this one . . . if, for once, Perry is bowing to his base and creditors, at least it fulfills another honest need as well.

    Sometimes you win by compromise.

  3. 3

    skagit spews:

    CG: What’s your source for thinking this isn’t going to improve Merck’s bottom line considerably?

  4. 4

    spews:

    I don’t know about “bucking the religious right” — the EO allows for “conscientious objection” and the press release emphasizes that parents can prevent their children’s vaccination based on religious reasons.

    Then again — I suppose fundies will howl as loudly as they would if there were no opt-out. Explaining the concept of “choice” will be as useless as ever.

  5. 5

    spews:

    skagit….yes, i have good sources on this one, but not for publication.
    but, in reality,60 million is a drop in the proverbial bucket for merck….so you can chalk it up to common sense.
    it’s a great idea, the drug company is cooperating [isn’t this what liberals want?] the republican governor suggested it [isn’t this what liberals want?]it’s going to save lives [isn’t this what liberals want?]
    it cost merck over one BILLION dollars to develope this drug. you do the math.
    isn’t this a win/win for everyone…and isn’t that what we should all want?

  6. 6

    skagit spews:

    Then you don’t have sources . . .

    What’s more, 60 million added to other drops in the bucket is what is called “the bottom line” or “profit.”

    You’re sort of a tease and I understand that. But, a little substance is preferable with me.

    Where did you get the Billion dollars?

    I already said what I think . . . compromise. Didn’t you read it?

  7. 7

    skagit spews:

    what’s more, CG, if you read the commentary, you’ll see the $60 million is on top of all the other profits from the vaccination. Why wouldn’t merck want another 60 million . . .

    Would you turn away 60 million?

  8. 8

    spews:

    Goldy, I’m cynical too. Even if Perry did what he did solely for financial gain, I’ll give him a pass. If only because this will save lives.

  9. 9

    spews:

    Ghost, Skagit…

    The point of my post is not so much that Perry is rewarding a powerful political friend like Merck, but rather that issues like this only get acted upon so forcefully and decisively when there is a powerful political friend like Merck pushing it.

    Perry could have sent this to the legislature rather than issuing an executive order. No doubt Merck was persuasive, whatever the merits of the issue.

  10. 10

    skagit spews:

    Get ready for your show, Goldstein.

    If he’d sent it to the legislature and it were turned down, then what? This works for me. Besides, if voters don’t like it, they’ll vote him out. In the meantime, lots of good will have been done.

    I’m saying, I’m glad . . . regardless of how it happened.

    In your perfect world, and most of the time, I agree that he should have done it in a democratic way. But, everybody uses executive orders from time to time. . . so no big deal to me.

  11. 12

    Richard Pope spews:

    How often do Jewish rabbis screw up the circumcision operation, as compared with medical doctors?

  12. 14

    Richard Pope spews:

    Looks like Washington presently does NOT fund the HPV vaccine for children. HPV vaccine is NOT currently provided by the Washington Department of Health for immunization of children:

    http://www.doh.wa.gov/cfh/Immu.....sement.pdf

    Gregoire may start allowing HPV vaccine to be funded for children sometime in spring 2007, but only if she is satisfied with the amount of money that is appropriated to the Department of Health in the upcoming budget.

    By contrast, progressive Texas Governor Rick Perry ordered HPV vaccine to be immediately funded by the state government, without any ifs, ands or buts.

  13. 15

    YOS LIB BRO spews:

    60 million is a drop in the proverbial bucket for merck…

    OR A LOSS LEADER. IF FAR-RIGHT PANDERING GOVERNOR GOODHAIR CAN START THE BALL ROLLING THEN OTHER GOVERNORS WILL ALMOST CERTAINLY FALL INTO LINE.

    MERCK’S NOT STUPID. PRETTY EFFECTIVE WAY TO START RECOVERING THAT INVESTMENT.

  14. 16

    Richard Pope spews:

    So that is two issues we need to be pressing Christine Gregoire and the Democrat legislature on: (1) limiting payday lending to 36% annual interest (or less) and (2) funding HPV vaccinations for children.

    Also, two issues that we will not be hearing Goldy talk about too much in the future, since he now realizes that state Democrats aren’t doing much about them.

  15. 17

    spews:

    skagit…..of course no one would “turn away” 60 million, but like i said before it cost them well over a billion to develop this drug…..and for a company of merck’s size and assets 60 million isn’t much.
    and besides…. good will advertising like this you couldn’t afford to pay for. of course they are for profit, of course the governor looks good….but maybe that’s because he should?
    i believe richard pope had a good point when he asked if gregoire was going to do the same thing.
    but i guess in her case it would have to be a favor for the payday people,right?
    that is…if one chose to look at it from a cynical angle.
    these are for profit companys and politicians….frankly, i am amazed that anything positive ever gets done…aren’t you?
    the cost of getting a drug to market…past all the pre-clinical trials ad nauseum is hideously expensive. for a reason. just look at vioxx for instance. that looked good…but it wasn’t. lipitor will be the next one to fall…
    just a little ‘prediction’ for you stock holders

  16. 19

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    “The cost to vaccinate 170,000 sixth-grade girls is estimated at about $60 million … ”

    Wait a minute … SCRREEEECH!!! That’s $352.94 per vaccination — who the hell is getting rich off this? Why does everything always cost 10 times the normal price when taxpayers pay for it … ?!!

  17. 21

    skagit spews:

    Read the article, Roger. Doctors are not prescribing it because it is about $360 a pop. Too expensive and even ins companies are refusing to cover the whole cost.

  18. 22

    spews:

    goldy…is it not, sadly way too often, human nature to only do something when motivated by gain? especially when we are talking about politicians?
    i guess you just have to look for the ones that do the most good/least harm.

    and the billion dollar number came straight out of our company’s research. we do alot of business with merck. but it’s not just for merck…depending on the drug type that’s a pretty standard ammount.

  19. 23

    spews:

    skagit…yes, insurers are refusing to cover it…because it’s a new drug. that’s pretty standard.
    maybe we should complain about the insurers……..

    roger…”Why does everything always cost 10 times the normal price” you are assuming that they are jacking up the price unreasonably. they aren’t. the price will quickly fall….

  20. 24

    skagit spews:

    CG: you are full of shit. You haven’t got a clue.

    Here’s a link which supports the truth that a lot of pharmaceutical companies (which take credit for the money spend on R&D to keep Americans paying huge prices for drugs) actually get the NIH (read governement) to do a lot of the costly initial research. When the research starts to prove productive, the private sector gets interested and takes over.
    “The underlying technology for the vaccine originated in the laboratories of Drs. John Schiller and Douglas Lowy of the NIH National Cancer Institute. Drs. Schiller and Lowy commenced their research on the molecular biology of HPV nearly 20 years ago. Among their numerous findings, they discovered that the major outer coat protein of the virus, called L1, could self assemble into non-infectious virus-like particles (VLPs) that closely resemble the native outer shell of the actual virus.”

    Of course, Merck was invited to make it commercial and market it. But, many many drugs start at the level of NIH which is government funded. Billions? Horsepuckey. Do your homework.

    The people pay for a hell of a lot of research that puts an awful lot of money in the hands of pharmaceutical companies when they finally get on board.

  21. 25

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    “Pentagon Big Winner in Bush Budget Plan
    “By ANDREW TAYLOR
    “AP

    “WASHINGTON (Feb. 3) – The Pentagon is the big winner in President Bush ‘s proposed budget for next year, while domestic items such as aid to schools and grants to local governments will get only the slightest of increases. …

    “Bush’s spending plan … would … squeeze … the one-sixth of the budget that covers domestic agencies such as the departments of Education, Energy and Health and Human Services. Domestic agencies would not face an outright cut, as proposed last year, but would see increases averaging less than inflation, White House Budget director Rob Portman said. Higher costs for veterans’ health care probably would eat up most of any such increase.

    “The Pentagon, which also consumes one-sixth of the overall budget, would get a whopping 11 percent increase, to $481.4 billion in its core budget. And that is before accounting for an additional $235 billion in war costs over the next year and a half.

    “Bush’s plan will get a skeptical reception from the Democratic-controlled Congress. Democrats say it meets the president’s promise to balance the budget by 2012 by omitting war costs and expensive changes to the alternative minimum tax and assuming politically untenable cuts in payments to doctors under Medicare. ‘There’s this continuing deception about our real fiscal condition,’ the chairman of the Senate Budget Committee said in an interview Saturday. ‘Over and over again we see things left out of his budget that we know are going to have to be dealt with,’ said Sen. Kent Conrad, D-N.D. …

    “The federal contribution to the popular State Children’s Health Insurance Program would rise slightly to address chronic shortfalls. States, however, would get less money to cover children in families at twice the poverty level or more. Democrats are pressing for far greater increases in the children’s health program.

    “The White House’s budget also would trim $12 billion from Medicaid …. The proposed cuts … would come in part from smaller inflation adjustments for hospitals, nursing homes, home health care providers and hospices. … Hospitals in particular are a powerful lobbying group and often are some of the leading employers in lawmakers’ districts and states. Smaller … cuts proposed last year went nowhere in a GOP -led Congress, and Democrats quickly pounced on the new proposal. ‘I think that sounds like the president is declaring war on … the poor people in this country,’ said Rep. Pete Stark, D-Calif. Stark and other Democrats probably will go after what they see as excessive payments to private managed care plans ….

    “Democrats also must deal with a scheduled 8 percent cut in Medicare payments to doctors, a byproduct from a 1997 budget bill. Bush’s budget would leave the cut in place, though Congress is virtually certain to provide relief as it has since 2003 with other scheduled payment cuts.”

    Quoted under Fair Use; for complete story and/or copyright info see http://tinyurl.com/2s7e2r

    Roger Rabbit Commentary: This is vintage Bushit. He proposed cuts he knows even a GOP Congress wouldn’t pass so he can blame a Democratic Congress for the deficits he caused with his tax cuts for the rich and runaway military spending.

    We all know how hard (sigh) it is to impeach a president. The only effective way to prevent this kind of bullshit is to NEVER vote for ANY Republican, for any office. Ever. Period.

  22. 26

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Bush and the GOP rob the citizens of their own country to pour trainloads of money into their Iraq sinkhole, no small part of which disappears into the pockets of corrupt Iraqi officials and U.S. no-bid contractors.

  23. 27

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @5 “yes, i have good sources on this one, but not for publication”

    Your cousin’s next-door neighbor has a sister who met someone at a bus stop whose uncle knows a guy who works for Merck?

  24. 29

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @14 So are you criticizing the legislature for not appropriating more money for children’s health?

    Let’s not forget that when Dino Rossi wrote the budget, he kicked 40,000 kids off Basic Health. Not just vaccines, but ALL health care, including preventive and life-saving. After Democrats wrested control of the state senate from the GOP, one of the first things the governor and legislature did was restore Rossi’s cuts.

    One thing is absolutely clear: You do not get health care funding for kids by voting for Republicans.

  25. 30

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @16 You think we’re afraid to talk about those issues, Richard? How much interest do you think payday lenders would charge under a permissive, business-friendly, anti-consumer GOP government? Try 400% on for size! How much funding for children’s health do you think we’ll get from a wingnut president’s budget writers? Take a peek at Shrub’s FY 2007 budget and you’ll see.

    It’s absolutely clear that you won’t get anything done about issues like this by voting for Republicans.

  26. 31

    Tree Frog Farmer spews:

    Hmm, the WaPo has an article Feb 2 discussing the jockeying going on between doctors and medical insurers. The price tag is $120 per dose , with three doses required. . . .
    In addition clinics may have to spend up to $50,000 in upgrades to store and process the Gardisil. Blue cross may increase their reimbursement, but many doctors are asking for a $25 premium in addition to the cost of $120 per dose.
    I think this is one of those complex calculations that also have include to projected costs to both individuals and society as a whole for the treatment of cervical cancer victims.

  27. 32

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @17 “like i said before it cost them well over a billion to develop this drug”

    What a crock! The vaccine was developed with public resources:

    “The vaccine was developed in parallel by researchers at Georgetown University Medical Center, the University of Rochester, Queensland University in Australia, and the U.S. National Cancer Institute. … For additional information, see articles entitled ‘Who Invented the VLP Cervical Cancer Vaccines?’ in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute and ‘How A Vaccine Search Ended In Triumph’ (New York Times, August 29, 2006; external link below).”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HPV_vaccine

    Note: Universities get a lot of their research money from government sources.

  28. 34

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Here’s what Merck is spending money on (from the article linked by skagit): “Merck is spending heavily on marketing ….”

  29. 35

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Let’s clarify something. There’s a popular misconception that drug companies charge high prices because of development costs. That’s bullshit!

    R & D is a minor expense in drug company budgets — often less than 10% of gross revenue, and typically less than profit.

    On the other hand, drug companies spend big bucks on marketing. All those TV ads you see aren’t free. That’s right, typically they spend 3 to 5 times as much getting you to buy the drug as they spent developing it.

    Americans aren’t healthier than everyone else. We’re merely more heavily medicated.

  30. 36

    Tree Frog Farmer spews:

    This is clearly a disruptive technological advance. While the vaccine does not directly prevent cancer, it does act against several HPV strains the are clearly involved in causing Cervical Cancer.
    The conduct of the Pharmaceutical Industry is not above reproach with regard to pricing. . .the ugliness involved in the availability of generic drugs to treat HIV in central Africa as opposed to exorbitantly priced patented forms springs too mind.

  31. 37

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Now, Merck spending a billion dollars to market a drug developed in university labs, is something I can believe …

  32. 38

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    There’s a reason why university researchers get Nobel Prizes and drug companies don’t …

  33. 39

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Government-haters conveniently overlook the fact that nearly all basic research is conducted at taxpayer expense. The private sector has neither the resources nor the inclination to bear the risks involved in making the fundamental discoveries that lead to new technologies and create new industries. Government and university funding have always played the leading role in conducting basic research. Private business then capitalizes on these discoveries (made at others’ expense) by transforming them into commercially salable products and marketing them. For example, think of all the products that came out of the space program. Things from TANG orange drink to space blankets were invented at taxpayer expense.

  34. 40

    Richard Pope spews:

    Roger Rabbit @ 28

    Sorry, Dino Rossi never cut 40,000 children from Medicaid, nor did Christine Gregoire restore 40,000 children to Medicaid.

    To be sure, back during the 2003 budget process, State Senator Rossi initially pushed for cutting 40,000 children off Medicaid. THIS WAS ALSO PART OF THE 2003-05 BUDGET PROPOSED BY DEMOCRAT GOVERNOR GARY LOCKE.

    After getting public reaction to this proposal, Rossi backed off and restored the 40,000 children that Locke had proposed to cut from Medicaid. Rossi was also able to prevent a number of other Locke-proposed cuts to the state health care budget:

    “Rossi, who was able to restore some major health-care cuts proposed last year by Locke, refers to himself as a “fiscal conservative with a social conscience.”

    But he is sure to draw a lot of criticism from human-service advocates over budget ideas that didn’t fly, such as his proposals to remove nearly 40,000 children from Medicaid and to eliminate state-funded prenatal care for illegal immigrants.”

    http://archives.seattletimes.n.....0+medicaid

    Maybe if Rossi was Governor, we would already have the HPV vaccine funded and payday lending rates sharply reduced. And then again, maybe not.

    One thing we can be sure of — if Rossi were Governor today, you and Goldy would strongly be advocating HPV vaccine funding and reducing payday lending rates. Instead of changing the subject every time you are reminded that Gregoire has done nothing yet in these two areas.

  35. 41

    Puddybud spews:

    Once again Voice of Chalk Scratching and his sniffing lapdog Will first look at the political point of anything done by the right vs the benefit?

    Isn’t that the libtard way?

  36. 43

    Richard Pope spews:

    Roger Rabbit @ 29

    If you compound the payday lending rate every 14 days (i.e. raise 1.15 to the power of 26), then borrowing $100 today results in owing $3,785.68 in 364 days from day (26 two week loan periods). That is what happens if you take out one payday loan (or multiple loans) to pay off an existing payday loan, every 14 days when it becomes due.

    These are the rates that the Democrat Governor and Legislature in Washington have approved for payday loans. Your debt will multiply almost as fast as rabbits can (if not faster).

  37. 44

    Richard Pope spews:

    Puddybud @ 41

    Isn’t Cuyahoga County where the election officials were convicted of felony election fraud, in connection with the recount that was requested of the November 2004 presidential election results in Ohio? I didn’t see any election fraud convictions in any Republican run counties in Ohio.

  38. 45

    Tree Frog Farmer spews:

    Ahem, in a discussion of the impact and costs of Gardisil, and Cervarex, I think a little trip through the history of COCP birth control is illustrative. Russel Marker, the father of the first American contraceptive pill pioneered the use of extracting estrogen-like products froom diosgenic wild Mexican Yams. He effectively broke a stranglehold on contraceptive technology by European Pharmaceutical Companies who were using strictly synthetic forms of Estrogen and Progestin.
    His was a primarily extractive technology. NB Pharmaceutical Companies hate extractive technologies because of their low profitability.
    Marker practically had to start his own pharmaceutical company to bring his birth controlmethod to market.
    Vaccines in general are notoriously low profit items.
    So in consequence, the primary motivation Merck would have to dabble with Gardisil is it’s profitability.
    The question behind this discussion is this: When the general welfare and the Commons are at stake, should the government step into the equation and take on the task? Bear in mind that even the Bush Administraytion has steped into this fray by guaranteeing the costs and indemnification of vaccine manufacturers to ensure adequate influenza vaccine.

  39. 46

    Puddybud spews:

    Richard@43: From the Moonbat Jonathan Alter

    “Two low-level elections workers from Cuyahoga County, Ohio, were each convicted of a felony for “negligent misconduct of an elections employee. They also were convicted of one misdemeanor count each of failure of elections employees to perform their duty.””

    Since Moonbats run the county Alter blames the higher ups. Well Jon, they are Moonbat!s too!

    Right you are Richard about no election fraud in Republican counties. Yet, Furball uses this lead balloon like the 40,000 kids as his useless canards!

  40. 47

    skagit spews:

    Ghost . . . Hey, Ghost . . . CG . . . where did you go? Perhaps to powder your ignorant little nose?

    Or are you at the back fence telling off the neighbors who steered you wrong, dear?

  41. 48

    Puddybud spews:

    Oh no Bush making sure the flu vaccine was available. Those Wascally Repubwicans are at it again, doing good.

    Looks like another good thing the Republican Bush Administration did for the common man!

  42. 49

    Tree Frog Farmer spews:

    The question is the general welfare of the entire population. The “Commons”.
    If we are ever confronted with a species jumping form of avian influenza, one that exhibits the same mortality and contagiousness as the infamous “Spanish Influenza” of 1917, then profit, social position, political philosophy will all have no meaning. This salient fact helped persuade one of the most unscientific and reality insulated administrations in US history to give some acceptance to the WHO position that a healthy and vital vaccine industries could save everyone’s lives.ted administrations in US history to give some acceptance to the WHO position that a healthy and vital vaccine industries could save everyone’s lives.

  43. 50

    Puddybud spews:

    Of Course Froggy looks at this through his political red colored hatred eyes. But Froggy you should know, Puddy don’t forget.

    September 2004, British company tells FDA their vaccine is contaminated. So I guess GWB wasn’t on the job trying to make sure enough vaccine was available 2+ years AGO?

  44. 51

    skagit spews:

    Pope @ 42: That’s if you keep the original unpaid and the interest exponentially grows.

    Each new loan (which pays of the previous loan) is computed at a factor of 1 and not exponentially. I think . . .

  45. 53

    Puddybud spews:

    Ms skagit: Did the vaccine problem happen and GWB was trying to provide it to the US citizens or not?

    Real Substance! But to you, another of the please attack America while GWB is still in office crowd; hatred rules your mind instead of facts. Facts hurt the libtard mind!

    I can imagine what passes for substance in your classroom!

  46. 54

    skagit spews:

    For you puddybutt: Regarding Shrub, it is too little too late. Guy’s acting like he’s desperate . . . desperately trying to redeem himself. God forbid. But, he’s certainly got you turned on, huh puttybutt?

  47. 55

    Puddybud spews:

    Ms scumbaggit stay on topic. You can stay on topic huh teach? We’re discussing the 2004 vaccine argument I put forth, which you claimed “. . . no substance”. Awwww poor ms scumbaggit, now she has to change the topic.

  48. 56

    Puddybud spews:

    Ms Scumbaggit: I for one do not salivate over any future attack on our soil. It could be a friend or family member who ends up dead. Maybe that doesn’t faze you ms scumbaggit, because you are a card carrying member of the hate America crowd!

  49. 58

    Puddybud spews:

    Topic change 53. Topic change 56. Will 58 be another?

    No, you called me puddybutt, I wanted to return the favor.

  50. 59

    Tlazolteotl spews:

    Male circumcision has also been proven in study after study to reduce both the incidence of cervical cancer in partners, and the likelihood of catching and transmitting HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.

    And circumcision also helps prevent penile cancer (also associated with HPV). But dare to bring this up, and you get those crazy guys who claim that circumcision is a conspiracy to mutilate men and their sexual functioning going and getting all kinds of airtime for their rantings, as if a missing foreskin was in any way equivalent with a missing clitoris.

    [Personally, I think what would work better is to give our daughters a strict “cut” aesthetic, and let the guys work out why they aren’t getting any.]

  51. 60

    Tlazolteotl spews:

    Oh, and I agree – for whatever reason Goodhair is doing it, it’s the right thing to do for two reasons.

    1 – it will save lives (I knew a woman who died of cervical cancer, an awful disease).

    2 – it is a triumph of science, reason, and common sense over superstition.

    Oh, and 3 – it will really piss the American Taliban off.

  52. 61

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @41 I never said that. And Cuyahoga County didn’t run Ohio’s 2004 election — when people in Democratic precincts had to wait in line for 6 to 8 hours — GOP ex-secretary of state Ken Blackwell did. Funny how these things happen only in states where Republicans are in charge of elections.

  53. 62

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @42 “These are the rates that the Democrat Governor and Legislature in Washington have approved for payday loans.”

    How do you figure that? One Democratic legislator in the hip pocket of the payday lenders kills a bill to regulate the loan sharks — and you blame the governor and the entire legislature? I don’t fucking think so!

  54. 63

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @44 “even the Bush Administraytion has steped into this fray by guaranteeing the costs and indemnification of vaccine manufacturers to ensure adequate influenza vaccine”

    Are you referring to the bird flu vaccine made by a company that Dick Cheney owns stock in?

  55. 64

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @62 Bush Inc. doesn’t do anything for the common good. They do something only if there’s money in it — for themselves.

  56. 65

    spews:

    roger….”Government-haters conveniently overlook the fact that nearly all basic research is conducted at taxpayer expense. The private sector has neither the resources nor the inclination to bear the risks involved in making the fundamental discoveries that lead to new technologies and create new industries. Government and university funding have always played the leading role in conducting basic research. Private business then capitalizes on these discoveries (made at others’ expense) by transforming them into commercially salable products and marketing them.”

    roger this is almost completely incorrect.fundamental esoteric research is done by the universities. i know people want to believe that “big pharma” is the boogie man, and yes, the profits are very good. but the risk is incredibly high…..the chance that any drug or vaccine will cause problems, death etc. are always there.or merely the appearance of problems. roger, as an attorney i would expect you to know this one. talk to any doctor about his malpractice insurance costs and then imagine you are a drug company.
    the private sector are the ones bearing the costs. not the universities. what research they do at most U’s is being done to teach. there are very few professors that only do research.and discovering how a virus behaves is a long long way from a vaccine. even if a doctor/professor at a university came up with the initial idea…and that’s usually only a fragment anyway, because they don’t have the resources to fully develop the drug…. their job is not to compete with the drug companies it’s to TEACH.and they usually got the money to do the research in the first place from a grant from a drug company. it is common practice for professors with an idea to approach the company and say “i have this idea….” but, in reality, it’s usually the grad students with the new ideas …not the professors.and when they are out of school they then go to work for the drug companies. that’s just the way it works.or they start their own companies.
    just patenting the drugs is expensive and time consuming.
    everything that goes into creating a drug and bringing it to market is very expensive. it’s a long, tedious and expensive proposition. why don’t you check out what the CRO’s make when they do studies for pre clinical trials?
    and in the end…no one makes any of you take the drugs do they? roger, your comment that we aren’t the healthiest, just the most medicated, is partially true.but that is a choice. americans think that there is a pill for everything.
    look…if it makes any of you feel better by imagining that i don’t know what i’m talking about here….fine. and i don’t have all the answers…i am not the one with the Ph.D.
    but i do know how much it costs to get a drug to market, i know what their budgets are for R and D because we do business with all of them. they use our equipment to develop the drugs.look up “contract pharma”…the numbers will blow your minds. and maybe make you think twice before you rip on the drug companies.most of what they do never even comes to fruition and you have to allow for “crop failure” don’t you, if you want a viable business.
    our company donates equipment to universities, simply because my husband remembers what it was like to try and get his hands on cutting edge stuff as a graduate student. it sure as hell wasn’t coming out of the professor’s budgets.or their minds either.and most students learn very very quickly that if they have a good idea for something the LAST person you ever want to tell is their professor. they write papers to get grants for a living, and that combined with a large ego makes for a blabbermouth.when we have a professor visit the first thing that we do is make sure there is NOTHING visible that we don’t want them to see. period.
    come on roger…as an attorney you know that the first thing anyone does is make a visitor sign a non disclosure aggreement, right? any visitors to either our labs or manufacturing plant have to sign these BEFORE they are even on the premises.

    “puddybutt is the christmas ghost on the male side . . . no substance.”

    skagit…..i guess i expected better from you. didn’t you say that you thought i had some “just and decent bones” in me? perhaps one of the many drugs to treat bi-polar is just the thing you need?
    powdering my nose? come on! how about cooking dinner?

  57. 66

    Puddybud spews:

    #60 is another of Pelletizers worthless canards. Cuyahoga County, like other Moonbat! counties, put in Moonbat!s to man the precincts, Moonbat!s place the voting booths, and Moonbat!s get the locations approved in their county meetings. Ken Blackwell had nothing to do with all the Moonbat! county problems. But to Furball, this is his only hope!

    Furball, did you so quickly forget Theresa LaPore. Palm Beach County is another Moonbat! led county. She was the Moonbat! Elections Commissioner. She put her people in the polling places.

    Try again Pelletizer. This lead baloon is still scraping the dirt!

  58. 68

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @45 No election fraud in Ohio? You make me laugh!

    Let’s start with the “Conyers Report (officially titled “Preserving Democracy: What Went Wrong in Ohio”):

    “Executive Summary

    “Representative John Conyers, Jr., the Ranking Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee, asked the Democratic staff to conduct an investigation into irregularities reported in the Ohio presidential election and to prepare a Status Report ….

    “We have found numerous, serious election irregularities in the Ohio presidential election, which resulted in a significant disenfranchisement of voters. Cumulatively, these irregularities, which affected hundreds of thousand of votes and voters in Ohio, raise grave doubts regarding whether it can be said the Ohio electors selected on December 13, 2004, were chosen in a manner that conforms to Ohio law, let alone federal requirements and constitutional standards.

    “This report, therefore, makes three recommendations: (1) consistent with the requirements of the United States Constitution concerning the counting of electoral votes by Congress and Federal law implementing these requirements, there are ample grounds for challenging the electors from the State of Ohio; (2) Congress should engage in further hearings into the widespread irregularities reported in Ohio; we believe the problems are serious enough to warrant the appointment of a joint select Committee of the House and Senate to investigate and report back to the Members; and (3) Congress needs to enact election reform to restore our people’s trust in our democracy. These changes should include putting in place more specific federal protections for federal elections, particularly in the areas of audit capability for electronic voting machines and casting and counting of provisional ballots, as well as other needed changes to federal and state election laws.

    “With regards to our factual finding, in brief, we find that there were massive and unprecedented voter irregularities and anomalies in Ohio. In many cases these irregularities were caused by intentional misconduct and illegal behavior, much of it involving Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell, the co-chair of the Bush-Cheney campaign in Ohio.

    “First, in the run up to election day, the following actions by Mr. Blackwell, the Republican Party and election officials disenfranchised hundreds of thousands of Ohio citizens, predominantly minority and Democratic voters:

    “The misallocation of voting machines led to unprecedented long lines that disenfranchised scores, if not hundreds of thousands, of predominantly minority and Democratic voters. This was illustrated by the fact that the Washington Post reported that in Franklin County, ’27 of the 30 wards with the most machines per registered voter showed majorities for Bush. At the other end of the spectrum, six of the seven wards with the fewest machines delivered large margins for Kerry.’ … Among other things, the conscious failure to provide sufficient voting machinery violates the Ohio Revised Code which requires the Boards of Elections to ‘provide adequate facilities at each polling place for conducting the election.’

    “Mr. Blackwell’s decision to restrict provisional ballots resulted in the disenfranchisement of tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of voters, again predominantly minority and Democratic voters. Mr. Blackwell’s decision departed from past Ohio law on provisional ballots, and there is no evidence that a broader construction would have led to any significant disruption at the polling places, and did not do so in other states.

    “Mr. Blackwell’s widely reviled decision to reject voter registration applications based on paper weight may have resulted in thousands of new voters not being registered in time for the 2004 election.

    “The Ohio Republican Party’s decision to engage in preelection ‘caging’ tactics, selectively targeting 35,000 predominantly minority voters for intimidation had a negative impact on voter turnout. The Third Circuit found these activities to be illegal and in direct violation of consent decrees barring the Republican Party from targeting minority voters for poll challenges.

    “The Ohio Republican Party’s decision to utilize thousands of partisan challengers concentrated in minority and Democratic areas likely disenfranchised tens of thousands of legal voters, who were not only intimidated, but became discouraged by the long lines. Shockingly, these disruptions were publicly predicted and acknowledged by Republican officials: Mark Weaver, a lawyer for the Ohio Republican Party, admitted the challenges ‘can’t help but create chaos, longer lines and frustration.’

    “Mr. Blackwell’s decision to prevent voters who requested absentee ballots but did not receive them on a timely basis from being able to receive provisional ballots likely disenfranchised thousands, if not tens of thousands, of voters, particularly seniors. A federal court found Mr. Blackwell’s order to be illegal and in violation of HAVA.

    “Second, on election day, there were numerous unexplained anomalies and irregularities involving hundreds of thousands of votes that have yet to be accounted for:

    “There were widespread instances of intimidation and misinformation in violation of the Voting Rights Act, the Civil Rights Act of 1968, Equal Protection, Due Process and the Ohio right to vote. Mr. Blackwell’s apparent failure to institute a single investigation into these many serious allegations represents a violation of his statutory duty under Ohio law to investigate election irregularities.

    “We learned of improper purging and other registration errors by election officials that likely disenfranchised tens of thousands of voters statewide. The Greater Cleveland Voter Registration Coalition projects that in Cuyahoga County alone over 10,000 Ohio citizens lost their right to vote as a result of official registration errors.

    “There were 93,000 spoiled ballots where no vote was cast for president, the vast majority of which have yet to be inspected. The problem was particularly acute in two precincts in Montgomery County which had an undervote rate of over 25% each – accounting for nearly 6,000 voters who stood in line to vote, but purportedly declined to vote for president.

    “There were numerous, significant unexplained irregularities in other counties throughout the state: (i) in Mahoning county at least 25 electronic machines transferred an unknown number of Kerry votes to the Bush column; (ii) Warren County locked out public observers from vote counting citing an FBI warning about a potential terrorist threat, yet the FBI states that it issued no such warning; (iii) the voting records of Perry county show significantly more votes than voters in some precincts, significantly less ballots than voters in other precincts, and voters casting more than one ballot; (iv) in Butler county a down ballot and underfunded Democratic State Supreme Court candidate implausibly received more votes than the best funded Democratic Presidential candidate in history; (v) in Cuyahoga county, poll worker error may have led to little known thirdparty candidates receiving twenty times more votes than such candidates had ever received in otherwise reliably Democratic leaning areas; (vi) in Miami county, voter turnout was an improbable and highly suspect 98.55 percent, and after 100 percent of the precincts were reported, an additional 19,000 extra votes were recorded for President Bush.

    “Third, in the post-election period we learned of numerous irregularities in tallying provisional ballots and conducting and completing the recount that disenfanchised thousands of voters and call the entire recount procedure into question (as of this date the recount is still not complete):

    “Mr. Blackwell’s failure to articulate clear and consistent standards for the counting of provisional ballots resulted in the loss of thousands of predominantly minority votes.

    “In Cuyahoga County alone, the lack of guidance and the ultimate narrow and arbitrary review standards significantly contributed to the fact that 8,099 out of 24,472 provisional ballots were ruled invalid, the highest proportion in the state.

    “Mr. Blackwell’s failure to issue specific standards for the recount contributed to a lack of uniformity in violation of both the Due Process Clause and the Equal Protection Clauses. We found innumerable irregularities in the recount in violation of Ohio law, including (i) counties which did not randomly select the precinct samples; (ii) counties which did not conduct a full hand court after the 3% hand and machine counts did not match; (iii) counties which allowed for irregular marking of ballots and failed to secure and store ballots and machinery; and (iv) counties which prevented witnesses for candidates from observing the various aspects of the recount.

    “The voting computer company Triad has essentially admitted that it engaged in a course of behavior during the recount in numerous counties to provide ‘cheat sheets’ to those counting the ballots. The cheat sheets informed election officials how many votes they should find for each candidate, and how many over and under votes they should calculate to match the machine count. In that way, they could avoid doing a full county-wide hand recount mandated by state law.” http://tinyurl.com/6h98b

    For more information about how Triad rigged the vote count in Ohio, see http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/121604Z.shtml

    Additional articles on the massive GOP fraud in Ohio in 2004:

    http://www.rollingstone.com/ne.....ion_stolen
    http://www.whatreallyhappened......fraud.html
    http://www.freepress.org/depar.....9/2004/975
    http://blog.democrats.com/node/812
    http://www.harpers.org/ExcerptNoneDare.html

    Roger Rabbit Commentary: There is absolutely question that not only was there fraud in Ohio, but the 2004 presidential election, like the 2000 presidential election, was stolen. George W. Bush was never legally elected president. That’s a fact, and that’s what future history books will say. All the lying in the world by Republican propagandists won’t change the fact that every honest person in America knows he is an illegitimate president.

  59. 69

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    65 You’re totally full of shit. My response is in Goldy’s spam filter. Come back tomorrow and read it, you lying sack of shit.

  60. 70

    skagit spews:

    CG: you spent all that bandwidth saying exactly what Roger said. Where do you think universities get the money to do all that research? Government grants. The UW is one of if not the biggest recipient of government money in its health sciences. Probably in atmospheric and oceanic sciences as well.

    You spend so many words . . . and you have said nothing.

    Earlier you said “billions” spent by “drug companies” for R&D. Roger and I both posted sourced links calling that drivel.

    NIH and universities are almost totally government funded – at least in the health sciences area.

    CG: you like to say the obvious and you are a good bser – I’ll give you that. But, try for substance, please.

  61. 71

    Richard Pope spews:

    Roger Rabbit @ 62

    Here is where payday loans originally started in Washington back in 1995:

    http://dlr.leg.wa.gov/billsumm.....;bill=5279

    I guess just about every member of the legislature voted for this nonsense. And Gary Locke signed it. The bill was introduced in the Senate by 5 Democrats and 4 Republicans.

    Actually one legislator (out of 98 representatives and 49 senators) voted NO — Senator Dwight Pelz.

    But now, we realize how shitty payday loans are. The Democrats promised in their 2006 platform to do something about it. Washington voters sent about 2/3 Democrats to the legislature. And now the Democrats are reneging on their promises.

  62. 72

    spews:

    puddy….trust me, my husband was looking over my shoulder and the first thing he said was “why don’t you have roger explain to everyone here how much attorneys are raising the costs of the drug production?”
    and they are….
    but you won’t hear roger, or anyone else here, bring that up. that would be too honest and their world is black and white as far as any corporations go….especially the companies that keep them alive.
    big pharma bad…big coffee [starbucks kids] G-O-O-D.
    it makes no sense.

  63. 73

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    The good news is that Ohio voters bounced Blackwell out on his ass last fall. Blackwell’s showing (under 39% of the vote) was virtually identical to what Washington voters gave to Motherbeater Irons, Roadkill McGavick, and cigaret smoke — Blackwell did, however, beat Low Tax Looper’s 4% against a write-in candidate.

    Ohio’s black voters so appreciated how their fellow black, Ken Blackwell, protected their voting rights they gave 80% of their votes to the white guy.

    Scratch another lying, cheating Republican.

  64. 74

    spews:

    skagit…substance.
    okay…here it is. they spend billions to bring a drug to market. that accounts for everything. you can google all you want, but you don’t know what you are talking about.
    the government grants ammount to almost NOTHING. the drug companies are the ones that cough up the dough.
    as to substance….
    do you have a Ph.D ? have you invented scientific technology that has changed the world for the better?
    NO?…neither have i.
    BUT, i live with the one who has and i work with many others every single day. and trust me…it’s not BS…i know what i’m talking about here. i live it.
    do you have any idea how difficult it is to get something approved by the FDA or even the EPA? difficult and expensive and believe me…we have paid our dues.
    you said i like to say the obvious. what? the obvious is never the truth too? what planet are you living on?
    sometimes i am just amazed at how dense people can be.
    too bad there isn’t a pill for that, huh?

    ***note to self…..talk to pfizer about developing a pill for chronic stupidity……heh heh heh
    now…that’s just a joke.

  65. 75

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @70 “why don’t you have roger explain to everyone here how much attorneys are raising the costs of the drug production?”

    I’m glad you asked! While attorneys employed by drug companies have little or no impact on costs of drug production, they have a large impact on prices paid by consumers. Examples of how drug company attorneys cost consumers plenty:

    – By lobbying Congress for industry-friendly laws
    – By using legal strategems to extend expiring patent protection on drugs
    – By fighting regulation of drug company business practices, e.g., “The industry fought, and won, a nine-year legal battle to keep congressional investigators from the General Accounting Office from seeing the industry’s complete R&D records.” http://tinyurl.com/2wm5mt

    If you want to know how clever drug company lawyers help their employers jack up the prices you pay for drugs, read these two articles:

    http://tinyurl.com/yc79d6
    http://tinyurl.com/2wm5mt

  66. 76

    skagit spews:

    You said ‘billions” for R&D. CG . . . you going through the change? Roger introduced the “marketing” point (as did the article I linked.

    Ghost, just move on to the next thread cause you’re done on this one.

  67. 77

    skagit spews:

    BTW, tort reform isn’t going to change this. Most lawsuits never get to court. Most lawsuits that do go to court often involve the same people . . . doctors, instead of getting fired, are simply transferred. Blame the AMA, not lawyers.

    You better go back for a refresher course with hubby. He seems to do the thinkin’ while you do the postin’.

  68. 78

    skagit spews:

    CG: you did say “getting a drug to market” so I erred. Sorry.

    That does not change the fact that taxpayers footed the bill to get the drug through R&D . . . and I would imagine some of that “development” included certain trials. No company will take on a drug they think isn’t a winner.

    And if you need anymore evidence, simply look at profits. The truth will be staring right back at you.

  69. 79

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    The Truth About High Drug Prices

    “From 1960 to 1980, prescription drug sales were fairly static as a percent of US gross domestic product, but from 1980 to 2000, they tripled. They now stand at more than $200 billion a year. Of the many events that contributed to the industry’s great and good fortune, none had to do with the quality of the drugs the companies were selling.

    ” … $200 billion … is an understatement. … That figure … does not include the large amounts spent for drugs administered in hospitals, nursing homes, or doctors’ offices ….

    “Of the 30 brand-name drugs most frequently used by the elderly, all but four have been on the market for over three years. The prices of those 26 drugs increased, on average, by 3.6 times the rate of inflation …. from January 2001 to January 2004. … Not only did the prices of these brand-name drugs increase rapidly, but they also increased often. … Eighteen, or more than two-thirds of the drugs marketed for the three-year period of January 2001 to January 2004, increased in price more than three times. …

    “The drug industry’s claim that R&D costs total $500 million for each new drug (including failures) is highly misleading. … The actual after-tax cash outlay – or what drug companies really spend on R&D – for each new drug (including failures) … ranged from $57 million to $71 million for the average new drug brought to market in the 1990s, including failures. … Drug industry expenditures for research and development … were consistently far less than profits. For the top ten companies, they amounted to only 11 percent of sales in 1990, rising slightly to 14 percent in 2000.

    “Industry R&D risks and costs are often significantly reduced by taxpayer-funded research …. An internal National Institutes of Health (NIH) document … shows … taxpayer-funded scientists conducted 55 percent of the research projects that led to the discovery and development of the top five selling drugs in 1995. …

    “In addition to receiving research subsidies, the … drug industry’s effective tax rate is about 40 percent less than the average for all other industries. … Drug companies also receive a huge financial incentive for testing the effects of drugs on children. This incentive … amounts to $600 million in additional profits per year for the drug industry …. It is estimated that the cost of such tests is less than $100 million a year.

    “Drug industry R&D is made less risky by the fact that only about 22 percent of the new drugs brought to market in the last two decades were innovative drugs that represented important therapeutic gains over existing drugs. Most were ‘me-too’ drugs, which often replicate existing successful drugs. [T]he pharmaceutical industry is not especially innovative … only a handful of truly important drugs have been brought to market in recent years, and they were mostly based on taxpayer-funded research at academic institutions, small biotechnology companies, or the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The great majority of ‘new’ drugs are … merely variations of older drugs already on the market. … The idea is to grab a share of an established, lucrative market by producing something very similar to a top-selling drug. For instance, we now have six statins … on the market to lower cholesterol, all variants of the first. As Dr. Sharon Levine, associate executive director of the Kaiser Permanente Medical Group, put it, ‘If I’m a manufacturer and I can change one molecule and get another twenty years of patent rights, and convince physicians to prescribe and consumers to demand the next form of Prilosec, or weekly Prozac instead of daily Prozac, just as my patent expires, then why would I be spending money on … looking for brand-new drugs?’

    “[D]rug companies no longer have to rely on their own research for new drugs, and few of the large ones do. Increasingly, they rely on academia, small biotech startup companies, and the NIH for that. At least a third of drugs marketed by the major drug companies are now licensed from universities or small biotech companies, and these tend to be the most innovative ones. …

    “Drug industry R&D does not appear to be as risky as companies claim. In every year since 1982, the drug industry has been the most profitable in the United States, according to Fortune magazine’s rankings. During this time, the drug industry’s returns on revenue (profit as a percent of sales) have averaged about three times the average for all other industries represented in the Fortune 500. It defies logic that R&D investments are highly risky if the industry is consistently so profitable and returns on investments are so high. … The top ten drug companies … had profits of nearly 25 percent of sales in 1990, and … profits as a percentage of sales remained about the same for the next decade. …

    “Drug industry expenditures for research and development … were consistently far less than profits. … The biggest single item in the budget is neither R&D nor even profits but something usually called ‘marketing and administration’ …. In 1990, a staggering 36 percent of sales revenues went into this category, and that proportion remained about the same for over a decade. Note that this is two and a half times the expenditures for R&D. These figures are drawn from the industry’s own annual reports to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and to stockholders, but what actually goes into these categories is not at all clear, because drug companies hold that information very close to their chests. It is likely, for instance, that R&D includes many activities most people would consider marketing ….

    ” … [I]n 1999-2000 the drug industry spent $262 million on federal lobbying, campaign contributions and ads for candidates ….

    “The drug industry’s top priority … is advertising and marketing …. Increases in drug industry advertising budgets have averaged almost 40 percent a year since the government relaxed rules on direct-to-consumer advertising in 1997 … research and development (R&D) is a relatively small part of the budgets of the big drug companies — dwarfed by their vast expenditures on marketing …. The prices drug companies charge have little relationship to the costs of making the drugs and could be cut dramatically without coming anywhere close to threatening R&D.”

    http://tinyurl.com/2wm5mt

  70. 81

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @65 There is no relationship between lawsuits and the cost of malpractice insurance. Like any other business, insurance companies charge what the market will bear. Doctors are captive customers because they can’t practice medicine without insurance.

    The truth is that legal costs and settlements amount to only about 1.5% of U.S. health care costs. If you delve into it, malpractice insurance costs even more — this is obvious, because insurance companies couldn’t stay in business if they didn’t make more than they pay out.

    Insurance is a highly profitable business, and a significant portion of what doctors pay to insurers goes to company profits, not lawyers or injured patients.

    The Republican argument basically goes like this: Doctors pay a lot for insurance, so patients should bear the risks and costs of doctors’ mistakes and negligence.

    I say bullshit.

  71. 82

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    “Skyrocketing medical malpractice insurance premiums. Doctors abandoning their practices. The insurance industry wants the public to think these trends are the result of ‘frivolous’ lawsuits and ‘out-of-control’ juries, and medical care providers are only too happy to agree.

    “But what’s the real story?

    “The problem with medical malpractice is that it occurs far too often. It is the eighth leading cause of death in America, killing more people than AIDS, breast cancer, or automobile crashes. Is this the patients’ fault? …

    “The Institute of Medicine’s 1999 report, To Err Is Human: Building a Safer Health System, reported that up to 98,000 patients die — and many more are injured — in U.S. hospitals each year as a result of preventable medical errors. That’s 268 deaths every day from errors like surgeons operating on the wrong side of the brain and nurses administering lethal doses of medication. …

    “There is no reason to think the statistics have improved since 1990, when the Harvard Medical Practice Study Group published its report, Patients, Doctors, and Lawyers: Medical Injury, Malpractice Litigation, and Patient Compensation in New York. The study found that only one in eight instances of malpractice resulted in a claim. And of suits that are filed and tried, the latest study by the Justice Department’s Bureau of Justice Statistics says plaintiffs win only 26 percent.

    “All of us want to trust our doctors. But the fact of the matter is that some cannot and should not be trusted. An investigation by the West Virginia Sunday Gazette-Mail revealed that just 40 doctors were responsible for more than one-fourth of the 2,300 cases of medical malpractice reported to the state’s Board of Medicine between 1993 and 2001. And a recent analysis of medical negligence records in Kentucky found that from 1992 to 2001, only 16 percent of the state’s doctors were responsible for 100 percent of the medical malpractice there. In the face of such compelling evidence that bad-apple doctors commit a large percentage of medical malpractice, one might assume that the profession and its insurers would weed out the repeat offenders. Not so. According to one recent study, fewer than 30 percent of doctors disciplined for ‘substandard care, incompetence, or negligence’ or for misprescribing or over prescribing drugs had to stop practicing—even temporarily.

    “And unlike auto insurers, most medical malpractice insurers don’t base premium rates on the doctor’s experience. In other words, good doctors — and far too many innocent patients who are injured or killed — pay for bad doctors.

    “So why has a ‘medical malpractice crisis’ arisen now? There were similar ‘crises’ in 1976 and 1986, when, as now, the economy had recently declined. The insurance companies, which derive most of their profits from investments, suffered from bad business decisions. Then, as now, they covered their losses by raising insurance premiums dramatically, then blamed innocent patients who sought compensation for negligence – related injuries — and, of course, their lawyers.

    “When St. Paul Insurance Co., one of the major medical malpractice insurers, announced earlier this year that it was getting out of the business, it claimed growing malpractice verdicts were the problem. The company conveniently failed to mention that its economic hardship was really caused by poor investments — including the $108 million it lost when Enron collapsed.

    “Nor has the medical or insurance industry mentioned that, according to the federal Health Care Financing Administration (now the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services), health care costs increased almost 75 percent from 1988 to 1999 – far more than the rate of inflation – while medical malpractice premiums increased by less than 6 percent … according to the 2000 edition of the Statistical Abstract of the United States, doctors in 1997 paid 25 percent less of their average annual incomes for malpractice insurance than they did in 1985.

    “And what about claims that doctors are quitting the profession or moving out of their home states? A Philadelphia Inquirer investigation found no such trend, and the same is true in West Virginia. …

    “Doctors and insurers say that limiting malpractice awards would hold down insurance costs. But the truth is that insurance premiums are slightly higher in states that cap damages. The American Medical Association itself reports that doctors in California, the state with perhaps the most restrictive limit on damages in the country, pay 20 percent more for malpractice coverage than the national average.”

    http://tinyurl.com/284xoa

    (This material apparently isn’t copyrighted, but if the trial lawyer I got it from doesn’t like my quoting it, he can fucking sue me!)

  72. 83

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    “Rising doctors’ premiums not due to lawsuit awards
    “Study suggests insurers raise rates to make up for investment declines

    “By Liz Kowalczyk, Globe Staff | June 1, 2005

    “Re-igniting the medical malpractice overhaul debate, a new study by Dartmouth College researchers suggests that huge jury awards and financial settlements for injured patients have not caused the explosive increase in doctors’ insurance premiums.

    “The researchers said a more likely explanation for the escalation is that malpractice insurance companies have raised doctors’ premiums to compensate for falling investment returns.

    “The Dartmouth economists studied actual payments made to patients between 1991 and 2003, the results of which were published yesterday in the journal Health Affairs. …

    “Researchers found that payments grew … roughly equivalent to the overall rise in healthcare costs …. ‘One of the things we know about medical malpractice payments is that they’re usually made when an injury occurred,’ he said. ‘The injury has to be treated. And if it’s more and more expensive to treat injuries, then that will be reflected in payments.’

    “Meanwhile, malpractice insurance premiums for internists, general surgeons, and obstetricians have skyrocketed …. ‘It’s not payments that’s causing this,’ Chandra said. ‘ … If they’re making less money from the investment side of things, it’s going to cause [insurance companies] to raise rates.’ …

    “Marc Breakstone, a Boston malpractice lawyer, called the Dartmouth study a ‘beacon of truth. This absolutely proves that the propaganda of the AMA and the PIAA is just that, it’s nothing more than histrionics,’ he said.”

    Quoted under Fair Use; for complete story and/or copyright info see http://tinyurl.com/2txbpd

  73. 84

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    One reason good doctors pay high insurance rates is because the medical profession, hospitals, and disciplinary boards do a shitty job of protecting the public from bad doctors. For example,

    “By analyzing data from the National Practitioner Data Bank, the consumer advocacy group Public Citizen found that a number of doctors … have repeatedly paid out money in settlements but have never been disciplined by their hospitals or state medical boards. … In West Virginia, Public Citizen found one doctor who settled 36 suits in two years, another who settled 40 in four years.”

    http://tinyurl.com/2zfvfv

  74. 86

    spews:

    skagit…….apology not needed. it’s easy to do when posting on multiple threads.

    BUT..you are still wrong.you said “That does not change the fact that taxpayers footed the bill to get the drug through R&D . . . and I would imagine some of that “development” included certain trials. No company will take on a drug they think isn’t a winner.”

    wrong again. most of the time the drug companies are the ones that come up with the idea in the first place. well…one or more of their employees does.most of the drugs are not winners and never make it to market. R and D is extremely expensive…especially for the pharma companies.and taxpayers absolutely do not foot the bill for this. as i said before, one of the biggest risks for anything like this is a blabby professor. they want to write papers…they live and die by the papers they write. when you write a scientific paper you expose everything about what you are working on. that defeats the whole purpose and makes it nearly impossible to get a patent on it. without the patent you have nothing. pre clinical trials alone [one of our specialties]are costly and time consuming. for a reason. they are the first “gate’ that the drug has to make it through.

    roger…you can say that all you want…but you know i’m right. why don’t you just be honest about it? i will be the first to say that lawyers are a necessary evil [so to speak] they protect people from unscrupulous practices…in theory. they should do more. but if you want to bitch about profits…why don’t you explain to everyone here how lawyers charge their clients for services the way hospitals charge you 25 bucks for an aspirin?
    would it kill you to tell the truth?

  75. 87

    ArtFart spews:

    63 Actually, I think you meant to refer to Rumsfeld. He used to be chairman of Gilead Sciences, the company that developed Tamiflu and subsequently sold the rights to Roche. Prior to that, he was CEO of G. D. Searle.

    Mind you, it sure wouldn’t surprise me if it turned out that Cheney bought a shitload of Roche shares on an insider tip from Donnie.

  76. 88

    ArtFart spews:

    Richard, it’s worth pointing out that a lot of us on the left consider it an obligation to hold Democratic officeholders’ feet to the fire about those things we expected to do after we helped them get elected.

  77. 89

    Puddybud spews:

    Furball fell into the trap like always: “Representative John Conyers, Jr., the Ranking Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee, asked the Democratic staff to conduct an investigation…” blah blah blah.

    Keep Hope Alive.

    Pelletizer: If you could read: (IF noun), you’d notice I said convicted voting fraud.

    I already told you I have close friends in Ohio. I bet every county where there were problems had Moonbat!s in leadership.

    Stay tuned

  78. 90

    Puddybud spews:

    How many times will Pelletizer refer to Conyers “investigation”? Hmmm…? The voting problems cited by his Democratic Wizards were:

    Greater Cleveland Voter Registration Coalition projects that in Cuyahoga County… – All led by Moonbat!s – PROVEN FACT

    Mahoning county – Led by Moonbat!s. One county commissioner was a protoge of James Traficant. County Seat – Youngstown, has traditionally been led by Democratic mayors. – PROVEN FACT

    Two universities in Youngstown area… and we know what professors spout Pelletizer. Remember the 81 Duke professors who convicted the three boys before the Duke Rape Trial?

    Another fact of this area, Youngstown was give the nickname “Bomb City,”. Look the phrase “Youngstown tune-up” Furball. Looks like people of your persuasion hard at work!

    Furball, in the 1920s some of your good friends, the Ku Klux Klan, were active in Youngstown! Ohio is not too far from West Virginia!

  79. 91

    Puddybud spews:

    Warren County: Well what do you know Furball, another county run by Moonbat!s and they voted for Kerry BIG TIME:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U.....2C_in_Ohio

    You make this all too easy Furball. Did you know Woody Harrelson is from here? We all know his politics! Nuff Said on this one too!

    Perry County – In 2004 voted for GWB over Kerry. This is a Republican voting county.

    Do you read what you post: “Butler county a down ballot and underfunded Democratic State Supreme Court candidate implausibly received more votes than the best funded Democratic Presidential candidate in history;” Maybe because most of the people saw Kerry as the Moonbat he was! 33.7% 56,234 Kerry 65.9% 109,866 Bush!

  80. 92

    Puddybud spews:

    Okay I talk one back Furball, Butler County is deep red.

    Perry County is borderline blue. Bush got 56% of the vote while in 2006 it voted 60% blue! I’ll admit not all the “investigated” counties are Moonbat! led. When it comes to casting more than one ballot we know who leads the way there, libtards!

    I’ll look up Miami County later. Got to run!

  81. 93

    spews:

    65 and the rabbit

    Just to clarify a bit.

    By and large Drug companies do not du “discovery research” and there is a simple reason why not.

    1, One can not patent a principle. If I discover “the” cause of a disease I am working on, that is not patentable until I turn that into useful knowledge and the latter is itself a long and risky process. As a result, most idcoveries of the cause of disease are made by academics.

    2. Drug companies, like most cpaitalist endeavours, have relatively short term planning. 5 years is a long time. 10 is unimaginable. Discovery, in contrast can literlaly take a life time.

    That said, the message in 65 is wrong in one way. Academics do not do research to teach, We do ti for the thrill of discovery (imagine being the first to know how proteins are made!) and, I assume for the fame and power. A few are ven motivated to help others! (More than you would think.)

    Rabbit is worng about the developemnt costs. As an example, I now of a drug that would indubitably help people with angina. This drug has been tested and approved for a related issue in japan. It is nto being developed in the US because the development costs, the need to prove efficacy is counterbalanced by the knowledge that this clas sof drug is easy to imitate. As a result if Pfizer (one of the most research unfriendly companies) were to do the neded trials and market the thing, surely Merch would be hard on their heals with a competitor and NO ONE would be able to recoup the development costs.

    The same exact issue hurts development of third world drugs and is a major strategy of The Gates Institute toi fund development so that for-profit companies can make abuck selling something someone lese has shown works.

  82. 94

    skagit spews:

    Ah CG, you don’t read well. Apologized for the misquote . . . not for the content. Funny, you get things wrong and sail on happily oblivious to your own errors.

    You blabber on and on refusing to acknowledge sources that refute you . . . you’re sort of like Edith (you know, Archie and Edith) who continues talking while all around her have quit listening.

    Where do you get your ideas anyway? Your thinking goes like this: I own a green Subaru so everyone must want a green Subaru. I prefer Bayer Aspirin so Bayer is the best aspirin. I know things because I know things . . . trust me on this. Professors are just blabbers who want to write papers . . .

    You know, CG, you’re clueless. Sorry because I think you are going through a very difficult phase . . . I hope you get through it okay.

  83. 95

    skagit spews:

    Schwarz: nobody is arguing that it doesn’t take a long time and it isn’t expensive to research/develop/market drugs.

    The argument is that the drug companies bear all the costs.

    In the last analysis, the profits of drug companies are huge. These profits are the result of expensive public/private endeavors.

    The point is that the American taxpayer has contributed to the drug’s creation. Your second point is irrelevant to the discussion.

    Your claim to know what motivates others is also irrelevant and sounds like CG’s kind of generalized thinking.

    So, with profits through the roof, Merck and others will not develop drugs that are in the common good because they will lower overall profits in the end. What does that say about capitalism? What does that say about ethics? You approve of such decision making?

    How do you explain the Japanese decision to do it?

    Regarding the problem for third-world countries:

    for-profit companies can make abuck selling something

    It is all about greed. You can have your sympathy for the plight of poor drug companies “making a buck” but I remain steadfast in my belief that drug companies misrepresent to the public their investment . . . where most of the investment goes (marketing) . . . that they do it all themselves(no public money up front) . . . and that they cannot do it without these huge returns. If returns were smaller, somebody would still do it. Because drug companies have so much profitability without having to take on riskier ventures and the longest-term possibilities, they don’t.

    Drug companies are not hungry enough to do what is in the best interest of their market. They do what is easiest and most profitable. They are purely self interested. That is one of the downsides of capitalism.

    And their huge profits wouldn’t bother me a bit if it weren’t for the “public” money paving the road.

  84. 96

    spews:

    Skagit:

    1. Since I work in biotech and mentor people for the field, i think my opinions about motivation have some relevance,

    2. The reason this could be done in japan and nto here ahs t do with the law on intellectual property. One company in Japan owns a large part of the property there. Also, the disease they focus on in Japan (cerbral hemorrhage) is a large issue in japan than the US. Finally, all drug companies have an issue with market size/profit. Any drug to be marketed commercially will need a big enough market to justify the costs of marketing and production.

    3. I am as non-capitalist as you are. That said, it does us little good to blaim the drug companies for being profit making. In our system that is what they are paid to do.

    A more difficult issue is how to develop products (drugs are products) in a model other than capitalism? The record of socialism in this regard is abysmal. Germany, Sweden , France,.. not to mention the totalitarian societies, have so far proven to be utterly ineffective in this domain (as opposed to basic research where they are competitive).

    This is why the Gates initiative is so important. By loweing the threshold for development costs, Gates is likley to create new markets where not only the traditonal US/Euro megapharmas can comepte, but we may see a lot mor eout of India or China.

  85. 97

    skagit spews:

    Schwartz . . . tax them. That is a start. Tax the them. Extraordinary profits should reap extraordinary taxation . . . esp. since it is the public dollar that paves the road. . .

    You are missing my point. Drug companies – contrary to their pr – do not do it by themselves.

  86. 99

    skagit spews:

    ew . . . but, then, if it cuts down st STDs, maybe worth it? Get a good Jewish rabbi to do it. Nothing like experience.

  87. 100

    spews:

    skagit the know-nothing says:
    “You know, CG, you’re clueless. Sorry because I think you are going through a very difficult phase . . . I hope you get through it okay.”
    skagit…you are an idiot. you do not know what you are talking about. at all. and look who keeps talking….you. and then childish comments?
    “So, with profits through the roof, Merck and others will not develop drugs that are in the common good because they will lower overall profits in the end.”
    now THERE’S A CLASSIC example of you not knowing what the hell you are talking about.
    the closest you have ever come to knowing anything about a drug company/ business is when you take your RX for whatever it is that ails you ……..
    skagit…do you have a job? when they pay you with their PROFITS do you refuse the check and say “oh no! i can’t take that…it’s money made from GREED. i have my principles you know!”
    hardly……
    and i would expect you to stop using whatever drugs you are using now because it would just be evil of you to continue taking them KNOWING WHAT YOU [THINK] YOU KNOW.
    and when you go to the hospital…don’t forget to tell them you don’t want anything used on you that is from “big oil” too. IV’s, any plastic, you get the picture yet?

    does your hypocrisy know no bounds??????

    and you obviously are completely uneducated. never went to university? if you had known any professors you would know that their motto is “PUBLISH OR PERISH”……..

    so stop descibing yourself….”You blabber on and on refusing to acknowledge sources that refute you . . . you’re sort of like Edith (you know, Archie and Edith) who continues talking while all around her have quit listening.”

    and you know, i was a hell of alot more gracious to you when you admitted your mistake than you would have EVER been to me. typical big mouthed liberal.
    what do you do for a living anyway?
    let me guess….secretary?

  88. 101

    skagit spews:

    And you obviously relish stereotypes and generalizations. So be it. You’re a fool.

  89. 102

    spews:

    oh skagit…can’t take your own “medicine” pun intended?
    BOO HOO……
    you don’t know what you are talking about….but thank you for the big laugh your comments produced at our production meeting today…..
    it was actually one of our research doc’s that asked if you were somebody’s lame secretary with waaaay too much time on her hands.
    and thank you for pointing out that the drug companies need to refute your kind of BS at every turn.
    have you seen the ads for free meds from the companies like pfizer?
    keep talking baby…….

  90. 103

    spews:

    Everybody know if you mandate circucision in Texas , you’ll just end up with a bunch of little PRICKS!!! Look at our prez. “All foreskin and no hat”

  91. 104

    spews:

    skagit dear…i can’t believe that i missed this before.
    “Your claim to know what motivates others is also irrelevant and sounds like CG’s kind of generalized thinking.”

    in reference to what dr. schwartz has to say. i guess he doesn’t know anything either. he is just a research MD with a Ph.D and works in the field too. but hell….YOU are the expert here, right?