Wednesday, November 30, 2022

One Dollar Each.


Last week we mentioned the following Tweet, posted by someone who bought one of Mr. Musk's blue checkmarks (since removed) for their PharmaCo parody site:

This spawned first joy and then an angry backlash against the real PharmaCo when folks learned it wasn't true.

As a result the real company apologized:

What the real company did not do was apologize for the exorbitant price it charges patients, especially American patients, for its insulin-based products:

...A 2018 study from BMJ Global Health estimates the cost to produce a vial of insulin from between $2 for regular human insulin to less than $7 for newer analogs, like the Lispro analog Eli Lily produces. The list price for that analog is $274.70 per 10 mL vial...


...The RAND Corporation 2018 study demonstrated that the cost of insulin to diabetics in the U.S. is generally five to 10 times higher than in the other OECD countries (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development). Where the 2018 average price per vial was less than $10 for other OECD patients, it was just under $100 for U.S. patients...

However, in the wake of the false parody tweet the CEO of the real company, Mr. David Ricks, did say that they were doing their best to make things better:

“It probably highlights that we have more work to do to bring down the cost of insulin for more people...{snip}...We’ve done tons of things, but it obviously hasn’t penetrated the clutter. We’re obviously not the only insulin company. But the tropes go on."

Tons of things?

How about trying to emulate one really big thing that happened almost one hundred years ago:

...On January 23, 1923, an American patent on both insulin and Toronto’s method of making it was awarded to Banting, Collip, and Best. For $1.00 to each, the three discoverers assigned their patent rights to the Board of Governors of the University of Toronto. The application had stressed that none of the other researchers in the past had been able to produce a nontoxic antidiabetic extract. A patent was necessary to restrict manufacture of insulin to reputable pharmaceutical houses who could guarantee the purity and potency of their products...

You read that correctly.

The discoverers of insulin sold off their patent for one dollar, each, to make sure things were done properly for patients.

In other words...

No need for 'tons' of anything whatsoever.



e.a.f. said...

If they sold their rights for a dollar then how did we get to this place, of very expensive insilin especially in the U.S.A. Wonder if a law suit could be filed in the U.S.A. to deal with this, given they aren't following the "rules", or is it too late.

It is beyond me how something which is so vital is so expensive. People die if they dont' have it. Oh, right this is the U.S.A. we're talking about and if you can't afford health care you deserve to die. I remember some people saying that when they were debating the ACA. glad I live in Canada and wish people would stop critizing our medical system. right now it may be slow, but we did have a pandemic and its free and its good. Yes, these days you're going to wait, but you will be seen and you won't go bankrupt.

Yes, it sometimes takes a year to have surgery for a painful condition, but you did get it. In other countries, you'll never get the surgery because you can't afford it. health care and medication ought not to be based on your economic situation.

Danneau said...

Linda McQuaig dealt with the insulin business a couple of times, most recently in a book from a couple years back called The Sport And Prey of Capitalists. She details the establishment and eventual sale to private interests of Connaught Labs and how the Tories, in the flush of the '80s rush to privatize whatever could be, ensured that the Labs would be part of the burgeoning Pharma gold rush. No government since has seen fit to redress the evil of profit from misery. Got another jolt of this nature from the Guardian's Down To Earth bulletin this morning, How privatisation broke England’s water system and polluted our rivers, reminding me very much of Rafe Mair's work (along with several other bloggers of note) on IPPs and other PPP boondoggles. Not a good look, and Gordon Campbell is still at large...

e.a.f. said...

Thatcher was a real piece of work. I recall when she privitized everything she could. The water just didn't make sense. Its too important to leave to private enterprise. She also privitized a lot of the government housing, which took affordable housing out of the public domain. Not a really great time for G.B.

Oh, yes Mr. Mulroney and his changes with drugs. Another piece of work. Stevie Cameron and "On the Take, the Mulroney years". Still have the book. Its good to read and remind ourselves of what can happen when you elect a Conservative as P.M. Then Canadians voted for Harper who passed 9 pieces of Legislation, which he was told violated the Constition. This nice lawyer in Toronto took most of them to court and all were over turned.

The U.S.A. had Reagan and things haven't been the same in that country ever since.

Guess the moral of the story is, don't trust those Conservative types. They're not good for your health.