Monday, January 28, 2008

An incredibly stupid, and common, premise

I want to write a snarky response to this piece, but it just pisses me off too much. Instead, a question; is the current system of medical research a boon to medical science, or an impediment?
I don't mean to malign those good folks researching life-threatening illnesses, or to deny that making such positions well-compensated helps attract the best and brightest to them and benefits us all. But profit driven research leads to cures for male impotence and trillions spent researching male pattern baldness while less common, but actually life-threatening, conditions are de-prioritized because too few suffer from them to make money off of curing it, or only poor people die of it.
Is it really a good thing to make medical advancement contingent on how big a bonus executives with MBAs instead of scientific Ph.Ds will receive? Isn't this why we have dozens of questionably tested treatments for high blood pressure or cholesterol, which all too frequently end up being taken off the market due to dangerous side effects, but Lou Gehrig's Disease still essentially mystifies us?
I know, this is a snark blog, and I don't have enough command of the small details in this fight to so much as attempt to command a soapbox, but this shit pisses me off.
Medical science should not depend on executive bonuses for advancement. One day, if humanity survives the worst of our nature, people will look back at this process as criminal, not an achievement. Megan, however, lacks the mental capacity to see that there could be any other way. She's just not very bright.

1 comment:

Kathleen said...

it's possible that I don't understand what Megan is saying, but I think she is saying that people who are saying Europe is getting a "free ride" think that if Europe stops getting a free ride (i.e. pay more in drugs) then American will pay less. She then explains why this is wrong using "monopsony" like 50 times.

But of course, the premise is wrong, because the idea is that if Europe pays more, the drug companies will make more, and thus invest in new research. And that seems pretty simple, but she misses it.

I don't know if that is right, either morally or empirically, but trust Megan to be a moron.