UnThreaded | Threaded | Whole Thread (88) | Ignore Thread Prev | Next
Author: Carpian Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 74300  
Subject: Re: why is medicine a public good? Date: 12/27/2004 10:42 AM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 2
But with the average cost of bringing a single drug to market approaching $200,000.000, no amount of scientific good-will will bring about any new discoveries

No. But just because it costs a lot of money to produce, and may generate a lot of profits as well, doesn't necessarily make it "good". Let's take the Viagra example. Don't have figures, but I'm willing to wager that piles and piles and gobs of money and scientific talent were channelled into producing it (and are being spent marketing it through campaigns designed to create insecurity in men). And I'll guess it either is or will produce tons of profits, because it is "what the people want" and are willing to spend money on.

But suppose in many/most cases, the patients would be better, more deeply served to work on improving their relationship (and the woman likewise), or dealing with their own depression, or they have simply reached a stage in life where their "path" is turning and it is time for them to turn their attention elsewhere than sex. All that could potentially be done non-pharmaceutically and result in a healthier, happier person. Or, as is generally encouraged in our medical system, the person could just take this little blue pill and not have to go through the difficulty and pain of dealing with their "issues" and stay stuck where they're at, dependent on that pill.

Where is the "good" there? Is it in the same place where the profits are?

Viagra to me is an example of a misallocation of resources (in terms of what's “good” for our society) caused by “the profit motive”.

Government and/or non-profit foundations could also fund medical research with a potentially “better” (or not) allocation of resources. I think it depends on the quality of individuals in power in government as opposed to a general “government is/is not better”. The profit motive is only essential to the ones who stand to make the profit. I think most of the actual researchers would work just as hard on the essential stuff, whether it's for profit or not. And we all end up paying for it just the same, whether it's to a for-profit or not.
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll Report this Post | Recommend it!
Print the post  
UnThreaded | Threaded | Whole Thread (88) | Ignore Thread Prev | Next

Announcements

Foolanthropy 2014!
By working with young, first-time moms, Nurse-Family Partnership is able to truly change lives – for generations to come.
When Life Gives You Lemons
We all have had hardships and made poor decisions. The important thing is how we respond and grow. Read the story of a Fool who started from nothing, and looks to gain everything.
Post of the Day:
Macro Economics

Economic Implications of Cuba
What was Your Dumbest Investment?
Share it with us -- and learn from others' stories of flubs.
Community Home
Speak Your Mind, Start Your Blog, Rate Your Stocks

Community Team Fools - who are those TMF's?
Contact Us
Contact Customer Service and other Fool departments here.
Work for Fools?
Winner of the Washingtonian great places to work, and "#1 Media Company to Work For" (BusinessInsider 2011)! Have access to all of TMF's online and email products for FREE, and be paid for your contributions to TMF! Click the link and start your Fool career.
Advertisement