Ben Goldacre’s *Bad Pharma*?

As for other “moneyed interests,” no fewer than 30 Big Pharma and small biotech firms are racing for treatments and vaccines. Moderna turned around a vaccine batch in just 42 days. Gilead Sciences is already in Phase 3 trials for its remdesivir treatment for Covid-19. Straight off President Trump’s announcement of FDA approval for antimalarial drugs to treat the disease, Bayer announced it would donate three million chloroquine tablets.

Here is more from Kimberly A. Strassel (WSJ), the rest about other big businesses.


I enjoyed Mr Goldacre's writing on Bad Science. But I have a memory that he then set about doing laboratory research and found it harder than he'd thought. If my memory is wrong feel free to correct me.

I think you mean that what Pharma is doing now is the contrary of Goldacre’s book. If so, I completely agree.

This is capitalism at his best. There is a lot of money to make finding real solutions as fast as possible. The private agents are doing marvelously, even if the State keeps trying to stop them because... because of what? I really do not understand. They seem masochists, they seem to want to attract all the scorn possible.

My pharmacy chain is importing to Honduras 100.000 serological tests from China. They are exactly like pregnancy tests, a small blood drop, and 15 minutes later you know if you have the antibodies of Covid. 5 dollars a piece. Brasil is importing 10 millones of puedes from the same company. There are tens of other companies out there producing the same product. It works, it is cheap, it has already been used for weeks in many countries that waived the regulations. But in the US they cannot import them.

Just unbelievable.

The systematic employment of tests is exactly what is allowing Brazil to beat the coronavirus.

I'm confused. Science is reporting that these types of serological tests are still in development in Singapore. Am I missing something?

I can’t access the link, Randolph.

I am talking about stuff like the following one:

This is a competitor of the brand we are working with. Note the quantity of specimen needed in this case, only 20 micro-liters in case of full blood. There are other examples in the internet.

By the way, we are currently paying chloroquine 5 cents a pill. I am certain the producer we are buying from has a full cost of less than a penny.

Just to put Bayer and Teva “generous donations” in perspective. It is likely 30k$ for Bayer and 60k$ for Teva. THAT seems a bit like Bad Pharma behavior.

You must be a fun uncle at Christmastime.

Larry, both are up to the neck with gigantic legal/PR issues. Teva with the opioids settlement and Bayer with the Round-up stuff. With that little money, they bought a lot of goodwill from the mob and material for their lobbyists.

Of course they are free to do whatever they want to improve their chances, and in this case even welcomed. I am just a bit annoyed when I see the press report the PR statements like sheeps without a minimum of skepticism and a bit of investigation. They could have made a few calls, and find out the value of the gift, and maybe not showing them all the adoration of members of a cult. They could even have noted that amount of pills is produced in 24 hours in a single high-output machine, of which Bayer must have hundreds. They could have asked why not letting the machine go for a week, if they wanted “to do whatever possible to help the American people” as they surely put in their PR releases.

What is the PR value of just the reference to Bayer in the opinion-piece of Strassel, first page of the WSJ? BTW, I might be a SOB, but I can’t help but wonder why she mentioned the 3 million pills of Bayer and not the 6 millon of Teva.

God Bless American Big Pharma.

There's a good chance it'll save your life, or at least spare you an enormous amount of agony. And if not you -- definitely someone you care about.

Yup. And until then, keep whining about them, bitches.

Don't be a dipshit. They whine about the 700% price hikes that come out of nowhere. Doesn't this crowd hate taxes? It's a tax on people that need it to live.

>"out of nowhere"

Yeah, we have met the dipshit, Petrovic.... and it is you.

weak comeback

Trump's HHS department is staffed by former pharmaceutical executives.
Bad Pharma is alive and well.

And I heard that they ARE ALL RUSSIANS!!!!!1!!!

While we should always suspect incompetence before corruption, that position is increasingly untenable.

True, but let's leave Robert Mueller out of this, ok?

Remdesivir works, chloroquine works, and Pharma is a Good Guy. QED

Chloroquine has not been proven to work, but faith that it does has already killed one person, and put another into critical care in the U.S.

I don't comment often, if at all. Interestingly though a good friend is hospitalized with Covid-19 at the moment. Double pneumonia when he was his worst but he is coming around and should be out of the hospital in a day or two, definitely by the weekend. Upstate NY. The doctors gave him hydrochloroquine upon his admission to the hospital, given his state. I post this only to suggest that I find nothing more tedious than the stupid media-driven political shoutfests that so many people seem to love indulging in - and I mean even people that seem intelligent. It's like it is team sports or something. Anyway, the doctors ultimately are problem solvers. They have no time for what the president is or isn't saying or what the media talking heads are saying. Here's a guy coming in with Covid and is bad shape, this anti-viral malaria drug seems to be doing the trick elsewhere and we know it is safe, let's put him on it. It's a sign of hope that while everyone debates whether or not Trump is making things worse or better, the docs are just applying their problem solving skills and experience to actual patients.

>It's like it is team sports or something.

You have nailed it. That's exactly what it is. People want their team to win, and if the country has to burn to the ground to make that happen, then so be it. It is absolutely sickening.

Many prayers to your friend. Thanks for posting.

People are ordering masks from China to send to doctor friends in the US, because their hospitals can't order them thanks to the FDA.
Shame on you for implying that this is a political stunt.

Name them.

Gilead decided the court of public opinion would not be kind if they weaseled themselves into a loophole orphan drug monopoly:

+1. That's exactly the kind of behind the scenes play that ruins it for everybody. COVID-19 is not exactly a rare disease.

When people talk about “Bad Pharma” I doubt that they are expressing that they think Pharma is slow to seek a profit. Pharma uses laws and regulations to circumvent market forces. The first Hepatitis C drug cost $80,000 in the US, $57,000 in the EU, and like five bucks in India. It always surprises me that people who say they believe in free markets are so tolerant of the immense regulatory capture that allows substantial rent extraction throughout the healthcare system.

It's almost as if dishing out hamfisted value judgements like "good" or "bad" regardless of context to something as big and abstract as "big pharma" is preposterous.

Marketing opportunity of a life time. I will give away green tea if it cures the problem.

4. Green tea
Green tea is popular all over the world for its many purported health benefits. A review of the medical literature on green tea points out its high antioxidant content.Trusted Source This antioxidant activity helps support your body when it’s under attack by environmental factors or by an intruding infection. Researchers have concluded that green tea provides immune support and helps encourage a healthy metabolism, too.

As far as green tea and colds, more research is needed. While green tea might give you an energy boost while your body is fighting a cold, we don’t know enough to say whether or not it will shorten your cold’s duration.
Friggen A, call me lucky, I mostly just guessed at Green Tea. For that guess, please, all of you send me a check.

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