Jump to content

Drug Companies

Recommended Posts

Did anyone watch this weeks ER? I thought it raised a good point, in that how do you balance the need to develop and bring new medicines to market over the posibiliity of having serious side effects?

There has to be a balance in some respect. What do you say to the person dieing of cancer while a new drug that could save his life is delayed due to overly restrictive requirements from the FDA. But on the other hand if they're too lax on the testing look what can happen, I cant remember the drug name, but the anti-morning sickness drug in the 60's that caused all those children to be born w/o limbs.

Its tough.


But what worries me is that one of the biggest lobby groups is the Drug companies, and it seems all too often that the people who review the reasearch are in the pockets of this lobby group.


THe other thing that pisses me off is the fact that a lot of these companies wouldnt spend the money to develop treatments for less common afflictions. So the US government introduced legislation that gave these companies huge benifits (like they dont have to pay any taxes on these drugs) to the companies to develop them. So they did, but then they realized that not only is this drug good at treating the uncommon illness but can be used to treat the really common ones. So all of the sudden they're making millions and still get the tax breaks. But still they charge tons of money for the drug.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You raise a lot of interesting topics there, and if I try to respond to all of them, this post will resemble a thesis (only in length, not content) because succinctness is not my forte.


The drug I think you're referring to was thalidomide which was administered in the 50s and 60s as a sedative/tranquilizer. It was deemed to be 'safe' in that it was not thought to have any negative effects on the developing fetus. There was a huge range of consequences from no perceivable effects on the child to, as you said, incomplete limb development. The amount of damage depended mostly on when the mother was taking the drug, in combination with all the other factors that affect prenatal development. One of the contributing factors to this drug being prescribed to pregnant women was the opinion at the time amoung the scientific community who were gung-ho about the prominence of genes as a driving force of development (and consequentially low role of environmental factors like drugs).


Personally I feel that drugs should undergo the most rigourous testing possible before being passed by the FDA. I also find it reprehensible if a drug that could help sick people is not passed because of beaurocratic bullshit. Basically if those in charge are holding off on approving a drug for the right reasons - to ensure it won't do more harm than good, vioxx comes to mind - than I think it's unjust to condemn them for not "saving lives" by approving the drug faster just for the sake of speed. Those some people condeming them are the same ones who are quick to jump on the bandwagon of lawsuits when a drugs' side-effects come to light.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.