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Doubled Over

The premise of today's comic is only slightly hyperbolic as modern pharmacology works more like this:

Company A creates a radical new drug that is a miracle cure for a terrible disease. Company B then buys Company A for billions of dollars then jacks up the price of the new drug, thereby reaping zillions of dollars forever and ever.

This is, in short, the tale of Gilead Science, which bought the company which invented a cure for hepatitis C, now known as Harvoni. Gilead paid $11 billion for the company and made over $19 billion in profits.... in 2015 alone. That's pretty good return of an investment, if you're complete bastards.

What I mean by that is that Gilead is currently charging U.S. customers $85,000 for a 12-week round of treatment Harvoni, even though in India the exact same treatment costs less than $1000. Writer Phillip Smith chronicled his cure of hep C by purchasing Harvoni direct from India.

This atrocious medical tale is the fault of lax U.S. drug-price regulation, one the GOP has no interest in fixing as long as Big Pharma funds their campaigns, among other things. Probably.

As for developing drugs and finding cures there's no better example that thalidomide. Once used as a sedative in the 1950s, to disastrous effect, it's now used in cancer therapy.... also Crohn's disease, rheumatoid arthritis, leprosy, multiple myeloma and probably dropsy, the willies, and the heebie-jeebies. Seems to me like they're throwing it at a lot of different walls and seeing if their patent still sticks.


end rant

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Google Chow (Eat hearty, little Google-bots!)

Sir, we just invented a new drug but it'll cost at least $800 per dose.
Are you nuts? The board won't go for that. Can you somehow double the price?
Certainly. While we're at it shall we see if it cures anything?
Naw, lets leave the important stuff to marketing.

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