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Big Pharma Presses US To Quash Cheap Drug Production In India

Soulskill posted about 8 months ago | from the protecting-a-business-model dept.

Medicine 255

An anonymous reader writes "Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), are leaning on the United States government to discourage India from allowing the production and sale of affordable generic drugs to treat diseases such as cancer, diabetes, HIV/AIDS and hepatitis. India is currently on the U.S. government's Priority Watch List — countries whose practices on protecting intellectual property Washington believes should be monitored closely. Last year Novartis lost a six-year legal battle after the Indian Supreme court ruled that small changes and improvements to the drug Glivec did not amount to innovation deserving of a patent. Western drugmakers Pfizer, GlaxoSmithKline, Novartis, Roche Holding, Sanofi, and others have a bigger share of the fast-growing drug market in India. But they have been frustrated by a series of decisions on patents and pricing, as part of New Delhi's push to increase access to life-saving treatments in a place where only 15 percent of 1.2 billion people are covered by health insurance. One would certainly understand and probably agree with the need for for cheaper drugs. But don't forget that big pharma, for all its problems still is the number one creator of new drugs. In 2012 alone, the U.S. government and private companies spent a combined $130 billion (PDF) on medical research."

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BETA NEEDS TO BE RAPED BY HORSES (-1)

fisted (2295862) | about 8 months ago | (#46191201)

...you know the rest.

Re:BETA NEEDS TO BE RAPED BY HORSES (2, Insightful)

lgw (121541) | about 8 months ago | (#46191283)

Wow. I hate to be the guy asking "why is this on Slashdot", but WTF? This is a purely political click-trolling story. This is not what Slashdot is for.

You know, I'm actually OK with the blatant Slashvertisements, as long as they're geek-interest products. Man's got to pay the bills; I understand. But this pure-political story BS needs to stop!

Re:BETA NEEDS TO BE RAPED BY HORSES (5, Insightful)

dmbasso (1052166) | about 8 months ago | (#46191725)

The reason is pretty clear, it is about Imaginary Property (IP). The same pixie dust that makes copyright, trademarks, and patents.

And they're bullying a poor country like "hey, all these medicines that we were not going to sell because you can't afford, you are not allowed to make them yourselves; tell your population to just die." Yeah, pretty nice.

Re: BETA NEEDS TO BE RAPED BY HORSES (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46191999)

Da, komrade. Power to the proletariat!

Re: BETA NEEDS TO BE RAPED BY HORSES (3, Insightful)

dmbasso (1052166) | about 8 months ago | (#46192219)

I love how pointing out greed can be interpreted as communism. Gotta admire Faux News & co. brainwashing efficiency.

Re: BETA NEEDS TO BE RAPED BY HORSES (2, Interesting)

lgw (121541) | about 8 months ago | (#46192261)

Gray markets are a real problem though. People in the US already buy drugs from India, and someone has to pay for drug research. (Of course, a true communist would reply: it will be free, because taxes will pay for it.)

Re: BETA NEEDS TO BE RAPED BY HORSES (1)

dmbasso (1052166) | about 8 months ago | (#46192431)

someone has to pay for drug research. (Of course, a true communist would reply: it will be free, because taxes will pay for it.)

Indeed, someone has to pay for gram-negative antibiotics research urgently. Gee, I wonder why no big-pharma company is researching it.[/sarcasm]

Re:BETA NEEDS TO BE RAPED BY HORSES (4, Insightful)

Uberbah (647458) | about 8 months ago | (#46192319)

Wow. I hate to be the guy asking "why is this on Slashdot", but WTF? This is a purely political click-trolling story. This is not what Slashdot is for.

I don't hate to be the guy to ask you, but did you really just fall off the turnip truck? This is a story on drug patents. Slashdot runs stories on patents and greedy companies extracting money from them allllll the fucking time, and twice on Thursdays.

RE:Horses for Courses (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46191389)

All Horse Meat is in the Super Market

Re:BETA NEEDS TO BE RAPED BY HORSES (1)

BlueKitties (1541613) | about 8 months ago | (#46191511)

Big Mean Userbase Presses /. To Quash Superior Affordable Site Production For Women's Rights

That's OK, they know what we want (1, Funny)

istartedi (132515) | about 8 months ago | (#46191213)

That's OK, Big Pharma knows what the audience really wants. Beta pills for everybody, at 10X the price. Really. We did market research. That's what the audience wants.

Re:That's OK, they know what we want (-1, Offtopic)

CdBee (742846) | about 8 months ago | (#46191303)

Dice claim they know what the audience wants too. The audience begs to differ

Re:That's OK, they know what we want (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46191331)

Dice claim they know what the audience wants too. The audience begs to differ

WHOOOOOOOOSH

Re:That's OK, they know what we want (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46191645)

Can you hear me now? Good!

Soooooo close to Endgame... (0)

Anachragnome (1008495) | about 8 months ago | (#46191215)

US5722418
+
US5644363
+
GoogleGlass
+
Acceptance
=
????

If history is any sort of an indicator, any rights we sell today, our children must buy back with blood tomorrow

Re:Soooooo close to Endgame... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46191265)

No-Script users...

Notice how the script count blocked by No-Script has been rising? Up from 19 to 25 on the main page in the last two days.

Re:Soooooo close to Endgame... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46191441)

Up to 30 now, 5 added in the last 15 minutes.

I am Slashdot (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46191217)

Fuck Beta

We need Indian drug companies (5, Funny)

PCM2 (4486) | about 8 months ago | (#46191229)

I think it's terrible that the US would try to keep more people from getting access to effective, affordable remedies, such as beta blockers.

Re:We need Indian drug companies (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46191271)

The drug is Gleevec, not Glivec. I take it, and it's a miracle drug for those it helps. And it's expensive as HECK!

Re:We need Indian drug companies (5, Insightful)

icebike (68054) | about 8 months ago | (#46191515)

The drug is Gleevec, not Glivec. I take it, and it's a miracle drug for those it helps. And it's expensive as HECK!

Novartis had its 17 years of patent protection. Invented prior 1996, the first patent expired in 2013, and so Novartis decided to seek a patent on a slightly altered version, to gain 20 year protection. The Indian court saw through this and said No way. Good on them.
The drug has paid back its development costs many multiple times already.

This is a common tactic of drug manufacturers as their patents run our they suddenly find a way to color it pink or something equally trivially unimportant change and try to start the patent clock all over. This is a total subversion of the purpose behind patents.

XR Drugs (1)

ScottCooperDotNet (929575) | about 8 months ago | (#46191581)

This is a common tactic of drug manufacturers as their patents run our they suddenly find a way to color it pink or something equally trivially unimportant change and try to start the patent clock all over. This is a total subversion of the purpose behind patents.

Or formulate an XR "Extended Release" version of the drug under the same name.

On the other hand, the profits from existing drugs helps pay for research into new drugs to some degree, so could India be similar to a big company that uses Open Source but doesn't release any of their own code?

#iamslashdot

Gleevec history two views (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46192337)

Re:We need Indian drug companies (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46191463)

I think it's terrible that the US would try to keep more people from getting access to effective, affordable remedies, such as beta blockers.

That's what Obama-care is all about!

Re:We need Indian drug companies (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46191665)

Does India have better Beta blockers?

Re:We need Indian drug companies (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46192019)

Yeah, give Timmy and Samphuckus some of those beta blockers.

Joke, right? (2)

djupedal (584558) | about 8 months ago | (#46191243)

BPharma leaning on the govt.? This is right _after_ they land another donkey punch, right..? Cause we know who is using whom here... Calling it a 'lean' $eem$ to overlook an ongoing love affair, after all. Unless you mean they're leaning on the govt, for more profits and immunity when this turns bigger than it is now, because fake and adulterated consumer drugs in this and all the other markets the control aren't a new thing.

Re:Joke, right? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46191607)

I'm not actually certain what you're saying. It's kind of ambigious who's donkey punching whom. Now, I tend to be of the belief that congress is riddle with lobbyists and doesn't represent us, and big companies are using congress to pass laws for them. I don't call it outright bribery, but certainly I call it a matter of influence. Congressfolks talk to the people who write checks, and tend to go along with the people that write checks. They have to, or they don't get reelected.

So, I'm curious if you're seeing a different story than I am. If you are, can you please spell it out in a non ambigious manner? I'm curious.

Just like DICE would like to quash ÃY protest (-1, Offtopic)

runeghost (2509522) | about 8 months ago | (#46191253)

Although, even if they came out an publicly stated that classic Slashdot will remain, would we even believe them at this point? The whole thing has just reeked of mealymouthed corporate ham-handedness. :-(

Back in 48 mins (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46191257)

to read another post by soulskill cron

Re:Back in 48 mins (1)

runeghost (2509522) | about 8 months ago | (#46191335)

to read another post by soulskill cron

Thanks, that one made me giggle.

Wouldn't it be something (1)

roman_mir (125474) | about 8 months ago | (#46191267)

What a day it would be if instead of lobbying the USA gov't to do more to deny individual freedoms, corporations like these lobbied to INCREASE individual freedoms instead and to REMOVE government prohibitions and regulations in the industry. Get rid of FDA, get rid of government and basically costs drop dramatically that prices could truly be taken down by normal market forces and simultaneously much more money could be made by working on drugs that are not economically feasible given various government barriers to entry, added costs, etc.

Re:Wouldn't it be something (2, Insightful)

dk20 (914954) | about 8 months ago | (#46191467)

You don't really believe things like the "FDA" is what is driving up the price to you?

Canada has an equivalent system (Health Canada) and cheaper drugs then the US. We also have a different copyright system which allows generic drugs to be available sooner. Wonder if that helps drive the prices down?

US Solution? Ban cheap canadian drugs from canada as they were "not tested" or such.

Re:Wouldn't it be something (1)

roman_mir (125474) | about 8 months ago | (#46191517)

Of-course FDA is hugely responsible for all sorts of issues and barriers to entry, from denying drugs altogether, to basically costing companies hundreds of millions to put a new drug on the shelves, where none of it is necessary. Even the crazy Europeans don't do what FDA does in terms of adding costs based on 'efficacy' requirements, never mind 'safety' (which is also quite problematic, when this comes from gov't), but efficacy, which shouldn't cost anything but the company's reputation in the market. There is a ton and a half of designer drugs with minor modifications, the companies are searching for 'cure' to boldness and erectile dysfunction, but thousands of fairly rare conditions will never be addressed, because under such system it is uneconomical.

Re:Wouldn't it be something (3, Insightful)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about 8 months ago | (#46191655)

You don't really believe things like the "FDA" is what is driving up the price to you?

Have a little respect. Here in the US such beliefs are a religion to some people. Must be Satan (a/k/a the FDA) driving the prices up, let the Holy Market prevail! Ok, it actually is the gubmint, but the part that's responsible for enforcing monopolies for ever greater profit, not the FDA.

US Solution? Ban cheap canadian drugs from canada as they were "not tested" or such.

Yeah, same drugs from the same factory, but they're magically tainted by passing through Canada. OTOH you have some online pharmacies (legitimate outfits) that will drop ship the stuff to people in the US.

Re:Wouldn't it be something (4, Informative)

icebike (68054) | about 8 months ago | (#46191577)

Get rid of FDA, get rid of government and basically costs drop dramatically that prices could truly be taken down

The FDA doesn't keep drug prices high, they keep people alive. Returning to the days of snake oil is not the solution.

The problem is that patents can be extended by silly little changes that have no real effect, and the world is deprived of the invention or charged unconscionable amounts of money. Glivec (Imatinib) the first of the exceptionally expensive cancer drugs, costing $92,000 a year. Yet its development costs were not that great, and production costs have fallen dramatically.(especially in India).

Re:Wouldn't it be something (1, Insightful)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about 8 months ago | (#46191657)

What a day it would be if instead of lobbying the USA gov't to do more to deny individual freedoms, corporations like these lobbied to INCREASE individual freedoms

The last thing any big corporation wants is "individual freedom". The last thing the ruling elite want is "individual freedom".

John Galt is a virulent sociopath. He's managed to take every aspect of the Enlightenment and twist it and corrupt it until people don't know which way is up. America was a pretty impressive experiment, even with all its faults. The system had enough freedoms built in that a couple times a century there would be advances in the middle class, shared prosperity and disenfranchised populations gaining political power. Those days are over. Probably forever.

Re:Wouldn't it be something (1)

roman_mir (125474) | about 8 months ago | (#46192331)

Oh, and of-course, Beta needs to ingest poison and die a horrible, incurable death, could pharma help to get some belladonna or ricin or something?

Jai Hind! (5, Interesting)

Applehu Akbar (2968043) | about 8 months ago | (#46191269)

This is real News for Nerds. We need to support this effort by India to bust the pharma monopoly if we are ever going to afford medical care in this country. It doesn't matter whether that care is public or private; either style of payment encounters the same tsunami of uncontrolled cost.

But of course, reams of whiny butthurt over the proposed new appearance of Slashdot trumps all real issues this week. Will you crybabies please boycott the site as you have promised and let the rest of us get back to discussing real issues? You're like those Hollywood cokebrains who promise to leave the US whenever some Republican gets elected, but who let us down every time.

Re:Jai Hind! (4, Interesting)

s.petry (762400) | about 8 months ago | (#46191373)

I agree with the meat of your statement. At the same time, what gets neglected in these debates is that the Government "should" have a small role in the industry. Primarily, making sure that the drugs being sold are safe.

That "safe" has a few meanings, such as ensuring there are no materials in the drugs that should not be there. Ensuring that the drugs contain what they are supposed to contain, and that the levels are correct. Legally today, our supposedly "controlled" environment can get away with giving you 80% of what they are supposed to give you. They can put trace levels of mercury into vaccines too, so our "controlled" environment is not doing so well.

Point being, yes there should not be this nasty monopoly. Further, there should be more law suits for false advertising against drug agencies, and many people should be in jail for releasing dangerous drugs without advising the public to the dangers (Guardasil).

Our "Government" is failing on all accounts. Not the agents fault mind you, but the agencies fault.

Re:Jai Hind! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46191519)

Our "Government" is failing on all accounts. Not the agents fault mind you, but the agencies fault.

I disagree, it's a big success for the FDA as they keep getting bigger and bigger payoffs to approve drugs without actually testing them.

Re:Jai Hind! (3, Informative)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about 8 months ago | (#46191569)

They can put trace levels of mercury into vaccines

You're talking about thimerosal. They stopped using that in 1999. I'm not a big defender of big pharma, but for the record. What's interesting is that the FDA banned it from livestock vaccines before they stopped using it on humans.

Wrong (2)

justthinkit (954982) | about 8 months ago | (#46192351)

Wrong. It is still used [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Jai Hind! (3, Insightful)

icebike (68054) | about 8 months ago | (#46191663)

That "safe" has a few meanings, such as ensuring there are no materials in the drugs that should not be there. Ensuring that the drugs contain what they are supposed to contain, and that the levels are correct.

How about assuring that the drug doesn't doesn't actually kill you?

Safety is one aspect, effectiveness is another. Neither should be left in the hands of drug developers.

We've been down that path before. Every civilized country in the world over sees and regulates the development of drugs. Many countries simply accept the EU or US regulations because they are too small to support their own programs.

We let big Tobacco self regulate right up to 2009. Had the FDA started regulating them in the 30s when it became apparent how bad smoking was who knows how many lives would have been changed.

Re:Jai Hind! (4, Informative)

Applehu Akbar (2968043) | about 8 months ago | (#46191925)

There is no necessary connection between assuring drug safety and using the legal system to prop up a monopoly, although the FDA long ago mission-crept beyond its safety mandate to become a willing enabler of Bigger And Bigger Pharma. The FDA keeps compounds that have been selling in Europe and Canada off the US market for years, just to delay competition with one of the big domestic moneymakers. You're not going to convince me that European safety agencies are more lax than the FDA.

Guys, were you aware that in April, 2012, the patent on Viagra expired? But this was not a great day in the history of masculinity because Pfizer was able to get a federal judge to extend its reign to 2019 on the usual mysterious technical grounds.

Re:Jai Hind! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46192325)

Thalydimide is the drug that comes to mind as a counterexample of the FDA being right to keep out a drug approved in Canada. The flip side of this of course is that potentially life-saving drugs are delayed by the FDA.

Re:Jai Hind! (4, Insightful)

Uberbah (647458) | about 8 months ago | (#46192277)

At the same time, what gets neglected in these debates is that the Government "should" have a small role in the industry. Primarily, making sure that the drugs being sold are safe.

Why not a large role. As in, publicly finance 100% of drug research, since the worst university could piss away 50% of it's funding and still have a better return than Pharma, who spend more than that on stock options and advertizing.

Re:Jai Hind! (1)

transporter_ii (986545) | about 8 months ago | (#46192013)

let the rest of us get back to discussing real issues?

Enjoy it while you can, because when Beta goes mandatory, there will not be any more comments.

It is far, far better ... (4, Insightful)

Alain Williams (2972) | about 8 months ago | (#46191277)

that poor people die because they cannot buy the cheap drugs that may save their lives than a few rich western pharma lose any profit. :-(

Let them produce cheap drugs for local consumption. OK don't allow them to be imported to the west where (most) people can afford them. But condemning people to die just to protect your profits is, frankly, sick. Maybe not much different from tobacco companies, but still sick.

Re:It is far, far better ... (3, Interesting)

user317 (656027) | about 8 months ago | (#46191493)

So let me be the devils advocate here,

The argument is that if India does this the rest will follow and then the companies will not be able to make up their research costs to facilitate the development of new drugs, since the current batch of drugs was researched with the expectation of selling them worldwide.

If pharmaceutical companies are making that much money, why doesn't India create their own state or private pharmaceutical companies (or buy a stake in Pfizer) and use the profits to pay for local drugs? India has an enormous pool of talented researchers and a big enough budget to accomplish this. As they argue, the profits are so large then there is no way they could lose money. That would be a win win for everyone.

No, they weren't.... (5, Insightful)

trims (10010) | about 8 months ago | (#46191557)

The current crop (and the future crops, too) of drugs were NEVER intended to have to recoup costs out of non-developed-world countries.

In fact, pretty much ALL drug research is based solely on the American market. That is, everything else outside the American market is gravy (or, in this case, pure profit). The metrics are driven by how long it takes to recoup money from the USA's market.

The reason why is that the US drug market (due to a combination of large population, and completely unregulated pricing) is so much more lucrative than anywhere else, by an order of magnitude even more than Western Europe. That's right - the USA alone brings in more profit THAN THE ENTIRE REST OF THE WORLD for a drug.

Letting India manufacture these domestically (and, heck, the entire rest of the developed world) wouldn't affect drug research and investment strategies one little bit. The big fear from drug companies is reimportation, where drugs manufactured in India are imported back into the USA for sale, without the major patent premium being paid. This is fairly trivially avoidable.

So, yeah, in the end, it's about squeezing that last dime in profits out of people, and not fundamentally giving a damned about anything else.

Re:No, they weren't.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46192355)

Let's examine the flip side of this reasoning - if the rest of the world had policies similar to the USA, how much more drug research would be being done and how much suffering alleviated? Why is it left to the USA to bear the full cost of researching new drugs for the world?

Re:It is far, far better ... (2, Insightful)

Uberbah (647458) | about 8 months ago | (#46192113)

The argument is that if India does this the rest will follow and then the companies will not be able to make up their research costs

The problem for the devil's argument is that Pharma spends double the amount on advertizing that they do on research. This is about a greedy industry seeking to extract every last dollar it can, even if it means some poor folks on the other side of the planet will die. Not recouping research costs.

Pill Beta (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46191291)

N/T

Slashdot Users press Dice to quash Beta (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46191297)

Friend of mine just got cheap drugs from India ... (5, Informative)

timothy (36799) | about 8 months ago | (#46191309)

It sounds odd, or the start of a joke, but I'm serious.

She ordered some variety of medicine from an online pharmacy (which one, I don't know) and had some heavy cognitive dissonance. 'Did I just give money to scammers?' She waited slightly longer than she expected to, and had the thought that she really had been taken for a ride ... but then they arrived, and (to her surprise) were postmarked India.

"They were cheap, and worked."

She'll be displeased to hear about just how far regulatory capture can go, in this arena ...

timothy

Re:Friend of mine just got cheap drugs from India (4, Informative)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about 8 months ago | (#46191417)

Yup. A friend of mine needed some medications, taken on a regular basis. IIRC he had some limited insurance, but it didn't cover squat in medication. He ordered them online from a pharmacy in Canada. A legitimate outfit - had to show he had the prescriptions and whatnot. The meds were drop shipped from Switzerland and India, complete with funny foreign return addresses and stamps. He saved a bundle. There were the real McCoy too, not some brand X knockoff. Switzerland and India was where they were made.

Even better is doggy Prozac. Apparently they have Prozac for dogs - and it's the exact same stuff, from the same factory, but at a fraction of the price. This one is 2nd hand, from my neighbor the veterinarian, but she's not a BS artist. A coworker's wife had a Prozac Rx, so hubby writes an Rx for their dog, and she takes it.

Re:Friend of mine just got cheap drugs from India (2)

TheloniousToady (3343045) | about 8 months ago | (#46191597)

Even better is doggy Prozac. Apparently they have Prozac for dogs - and it's the exact same stuff, from the same factory, but at a fraction of the price. This one is 2nd hand, from my neighbor the veterinarian, but she's not a BS artist. A coworker's wife had a Prozac Rx, so hubby writes an Rx for their dog, and she takes it.

Looks like he finally found a way to stop her from eating the dogfood.

Re:Friend of mine just got cheap drugs from India (1)

glavenoid (636808) | about 8 months ago | (#46191681)

I don't know how I feel about antidepressants for dogs, or any other non-human animal for that matter. Can dogs be demonstrably depressed to a degree that they require medication rather than love and exercise? Or is this something that people who got a dog too big for their yard give to placate their pet when it spends 90% of its miserable life in a tiny kennel in the basement so it doesn't shed fur all over the sofa?

Re:Friend of mine just got cheap drugs from India (2)

glavenoid (636808) | about 8 months ago | (#46191691)

Damn, now I'm depressed thinking about that poor miserable dog in the kennel in the basement. Maybe I need some doggy prozac.

Re:Friend of mine just got cheap drugs from India (1)

Rich0 (548339) | about 8 months ago | (#46192429)

For the most part the online pills are as genuine as the stuff on thepiratebay. Sure, you can get burned either way, but it usually works (granted, being burned by counterfeit drugs is a much more serious problem).

The issue is that just as with thepiratebay somebody needs to actually pay to make the drugs. I'm all for that being the NIH or whatever, but right now very little is spent on drug clinical trials by anybody other than pharma companies. We need to change that if we really want to have a different business model. The thing is, if we do change that then there is no need to get rid of patents or whatever, because the patents will all be owned by the government anyway and it can license them out freely.

Don't forget US taxpayers pay ALL of that research (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46191317)

The Medicare/Medicaid drug reimbursement is already more than the private cost of research (plus reasonable production costs for those drugs).

I clicked on this big fat ugly link... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46191323)

I alone am a better web developer than the monkeys you have churning this shit out. Fix it.

As soon as I hear "Big " (3, Insightful)

chispito (1870390) | about 8 months ago | (#46191325)

Big Oil, Big Automotive, Big Chance-I-Stop-Paying-Attention.

Just because you think all large companies are evil doesn't mean everyone else does.

Re:As soon as I hear "Big " (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46191449)

Big Oil, Big Automotive, Big Chance-I-Stop-Paying-Attention.

Just because you think all large companies are evil doesn't mean everyone else does.

Statistics show that idiots argue against facts all the time.

We often find them in positions of power within government or religion.

Re:As soon as I hear "Big " (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46191659)

Just because you think all large companies are evil doesn't mean everyone else does.

They usually use those terms in articles like this. Then, as the companies start doing more and more evil shit, people start using it all the time, and for good reason; the companies have shown themselves to be evil.

Isn't it funny how these companies pretend to support the free market, but then beg the government to destroy competitors?

Re:As soon as I hear "Big " (2)

Uberbah (647458) | about 8 months ago | (#46192051)

As soon as I hear "Big " Big Oil, Big Automotive, Big Chance-I-Stop-Paying-Attention.

You mean, you were looking for an excuse to stop listening. And found one.

Just because you think all large companies are evil

Straw man. Look, this isn't hard story to grasp. Large, influential industries that wouldn't think a second before sending your job overseas for third world labor want the USG to make sure said third world labor pays first-world prices for their drugs.

Re:As soon as I hear "Big " (3, Interesting)

AcidPenguin9873 (911493) | about 8 months ago | (#46192381)

Large, influential industries that wouldn't think a second before sending your job overseas for third world labor

Except that they didn't do that when developing these drugs. They paid first-world salaries for research, development, testing, more testing, still more testing, even more testing, and then regulation compliance. Without those first-world costs, there's no drug that you want to sell for third-world prices.

want the USG to make sure said third world labor pays first-world prices for their drugs.

The world wants the US to foot the bill for their drug research, and then once that hard part is done, sell the drugs for materials and menial labor cost? I don't think so. If the prices are so far out of balance, why don't they start their own drug research institute with third-world salaries, testing, and regulations?

quash the beta u fuckin homothugs (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46191339)

this shit is wack

Karma (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46191355)

That's what you get for outsourcing the drug manufacturing to India...

Re:Karma (1)

junglee_iitk (651040) | about 8 months ago | (#46192311)

Who modded this insightful? This is anti-informative, whatever that is. US doesn't 'outsource' drug production to India. Indian firms read patents and create generics from it.

That's the gop health care plan for you (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about 8 months ago | (#46191357)

They want big business to profit of sick people and don't like stuff like medicare or medicaid

Okay, they are leaning on the US to discourage it. (1)

mark-t (151149) | about 8 months ago | (#46191387)

But is the US government actually responding to said leaning, or are they currently ignoring it?

Re:Okay, they are leaning on the US to discourage (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46191585)

But is the US government actually responding to said leaning, or are they currently ignoring it?

Not sure, the article didn't say how much "campaign contributions" PhRMA have paid congress-critters recently.

Timothy didn't hear us at all (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46191407)

Troll this bitch to the ground until there is no more talk about the failure known as Beta.
 
Fuck' em.

Re:Timothy didn't hear us at all (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46191445)

What a constructive use of time.

Is there any other sites we should just copy/paste "beta" on?

patented marketing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46191413)

Government spends public money on basic research. Corporations spend on sugar-coating, merchandising, and marketing.

The corporations then charge the people inflated monopoly prices. And offshore the profits - safe from having to return taxes on them. And get a lot of subsidies, handouts, and misdirected state services, appropriated to furthering their private interests, instead of the real public well-being.

Fuck Beta (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46191429)

       

Please post this to new articles if it hasn't been posted yet. (Copy-paste the html from here [pastebin.com] so links don't get mangled!)

       

On February 5, 2014, Slashdot announced through a javascript popup that they are starting to "move in to" the new Slashdot Beta design. Slashdot Beta is a trend-following attempt to give Slashdot a fresh look, an approach that has led to less space for text and an abandonment of the traditional Slashdot look. Much worse than that, Slashdot Beta fundamentally breaks the classic Slashdot discussion and moderation system.

       

If you haven't seen Slashdot Beta already, open this [slashdot.org] in a new tab. After seeing that, click here [slashdot.org] to return to classic Slashdot.

       

We should boycott stories and only discuss the abomination that is Slashdot Beta until Dice abandons the project.
We should boycott slashdot entirely during the week of Feb 10 to Feb 17 as part of the wider slashcott [slashdot.org]

       

Moderators - only spend mod points on comments that discuss Beta
Commentors - only discuss Beta
  http://slashdot.org/recent [slashdot.org] - Vote up the Fuck Beta stories

       

Keep this up for a few days and we may finally get the PHBs attention.

        -----=====##### LINKS #####=====-----
       

Discussion of Beta: http://slashdot.org/firehose.pl?op=view&id=56395415 [slashdot.org]

        Discussion of where to go if Beta goes live: http://slashdot.org/firehose.pl?op=view&type=submission&id=3321441 [slashdot.org]

        Alternative Slashdot: http://altslashdot.org [altslashdot.org] (thanks Okian Warrior (537106) [slashdot.org] )

Re:Fuck Beta (1, Insightful)

mark-t (151149) | about 8 months ago | (#46191575)

There's a word for people who keep doing the same thing over and over again, expecting a different outcome.

Personally, I'm rather tired of seeing this shit on every single story... I don't like beta either, but all this repeated drivel does, which can only be classified as off-topic and essentially spam, is actively degrade what usefulness the website actually has before beta even becomes mandatory.

So shut the fuck up... I'm pretty sure they heard you the first time. If you don't think that they are listening, then repeating yourself isn't going to solve anything, and thinking it will do anything other than annoy people who want to enjoy what's left of slashdot while it lasts, is... well... as I said above, there's a word for that.

Re:Fuck Beta (0)

Spy Handler (822350) | about 8 months ago | (#46191705)

*You* are hearing the same thing over and over again. There are other people who might be seeing this for the first time.

Or am I wrong and the entire ad industry is insane? Everybody at Google is insane?

When you have an important message to convey to the masses, it makes sense to repeat the message until everybody gets it or you reach a saturation point where it might backfire.

Beta sucks btw, but they can keep it as long as I can go into settings and choose the classic skin.

Re:Fuck Beta (1, Redundant)

demontechie (180612) | about 8 months ago | (#46191949)

Once beta becomes mandatory, it's too late, and those who actually drive the conversations will just leave.

And if that's what Dice wants, that's what they'll get.

Re:Fuck Beta (0)

transporter_ii (986545) | about 8 months ago | (#46192031)

Fuck you.

FTFY (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46191497)

>big pharma [...] is the number one creator of new drugs
>big pharma [...] is the number one creator of upper-class-only drugs

Fixed that for you. Do I have to fix the shitty beta too?

What's the point of creating new drugs if no one can make and use them?

>big pharma [...] is the number one creator of upper-class-only drugs

And are we worried that will change? The number one creator will instead be the middle-class "commoners"? Makers gonna make? Gonna make something THE HUMAN FUCKING RACE will benefit from?

How dreadful. Almost as dreadful as the /.beta

-AC.Falos

Cheaper drugs are the way to go, not newer more ex (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46191587)

Given the option of saving more people with generic and cheaper drugs over newer drugs that do amazing things but prices a majority of the population out, the option is pretty clear- save more people with cheaper drugs, not grant more patents to giant companies who tweak a drug's formula slightly and get another patent. In fact, generic drugs just mean you switch out some ingredients, they're not direct infringements on patents.

Re:Cheaper drugs are the way to go, not newer more (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46192417)

In the short run, you are right, but what about the longer term? If the trade off truly is research pace vs. accessibility, then over time we will fall decades behind where we would have been and diseases that would be treatable cheaply with drugs whose patents would have expired by then may not have any treatment at all.

Wut nahw? (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about 8 months ago | (#46191649)

I support patents on drugs to help bring new ones into existence -- the US invents half of what's invented each year (and further implying the rest of the world, whatever it is doing, shoudld be more like the US. Why? To save lives.)

But I do not support using legal trickery and rent-seeking to make it difficult to obtain legitimately expired patent generic drugs.

what's the percentage of drug research by the u.s. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46191683)

I ask because if a pharmaceutical company is reaping the benefits of free support/research from the U.S. taxpayers then my response to this maneuver is to say f*ck the company, if they take the taxpayer's coin, then they work for the taxpayer.

Big Numbers! Give Us Money! (2)

Bob9113 (14996) | about 8 months ago | (#46191697)

But don't forget that big pharma, for all its problems still is the number one creator of new drugs. In 2012 alone, the U.S. government and private companies spent a combined $130 billion (PDF) on medical research.

Ahh, very large numbers without context. Does such a good job of sounding like it means something. Here's some context: 70% increase in profits [thinkprogress.org] in the past 10 years, and we have way more drugs available than we can afford. Increasing government imposed restrictions on competition to drive up market price is what you do when a critical industry is having problems, not when they're flush with cash and demand and prices are skyrocketing. It's freaking econ 101 ferfucksake.

Also: Fuck beta. I am not the audience, I am one of the authors of this site. I am Slashdot. This is a debate community. I will leave if it becomes some bullshit IT News 'zine. And I don't think Dice has the chops to beat the existing competitors in that space.

Re:Big Numbers! Give Us Money! (1)

MtHuurne (602934) | about 8 months ago | (#46191855)

But don't forget that big pharma, for all its problems still is the number one creator of new drugs. In 2012 alone, the U.S. government and private companies spent a combined $130 billion (PDF) on medical research.

Ahh, very large numbers without context.

There is a little context:

Last year Novartis lost a six-year legal battle after the Indian Supreme court ruled that small changes and improvements to the drug Glivec did not amount to innovation deserving of a patent.

So some of that research is being spent on patentable variations rather than better cures, which is a waste of time and money when looking at the complete healthcare system. Commercial research also produces actually useful drugs, but perhaps it would be more efficient to let governments lead the research and let pharma companies handle the production side.

Just because its new doesn't necessarily mean good (1)

atari2600a (1892574) | about 8 months ago | (#46191721)

Usually it just means you need to start testing & data collection from scratch instead of using pounds of emperical evidence. The last thing they want are naturally-grown drugs (think hemp) they have no intellectual control or explaoitative profit revenue from. Half the shit that ends up on the market ends up to be a "patentable" analog of some other shit, perpetuated by lack of preventative or psychological health checkups, bad or misguided research, & all those fresh doctors that refuse to participate in internal medicine, without even deciding what their end career goal is.

India will probably win (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46191747)

India's needs for good medications are larger than USA's ambition to license intellectual property. Big Pharma companies are between the rock and the hard place. If they choose to license India's government with what would be a typical 2%, 3% or 5% royalty (payable on net sales) arrangement, such arrangement will not be beneficial to the Pharma companies because of the two factors: a) rock bottom prices will not allow to earn expected royalties to which pharma companies are used to and b) it is easy to predict that cheap medication (which is considered a brand medication everywhere else) at one third of the world will appear at the rest of the markets, currently this phenomenon is called parallel trading. For the sake of argument we should assume that such model will be accepted by both India and China, thus one third of the world. Now, the $130 Billion spent on research is a number which is inflated and politically perverted, prepared by Washington DC metro area lawyers and smooth-talkers. In reality this number of $130B probably includes money spent to lawyers, FDA, investors of acquired companies and the last category will be scientists who are doing real research. Probably one tenth of this amount or less. It is factually not correct that Big pharma is number one creator of the drugs, though it used to be in the past. If you were to look carefully, Big Pharma is the biggest and most successful investor in smaller companies, with the biggest administrative muscle of internal lawyers and bureaucrats to overcome and overpower FDA's army of the bureaucrats. To continue investing Big Pharma needs to spend ever increasing amounts of money for new promising products, and such projects are very hard to find and, when found, are very expensive to buy. That is why Big Pharma needs to pay top dollar for the research performed by universities and smaller companies, and, on the other hand, to charge such expenses to the selling price of their current medications.

You 7FAIL it (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46191837)

is The ultimaJte [goat.cx]

Big Geek Presses Dice To Quash Slashdot Beta (0)

oRCAD Monkey (1867884) | about 8 months ago | (#46191863)

I am 6'4 260 pounds.

I press the "Classic" button but when new page loads it is back to fscking beta.

I am very sad. sad sad sad - also upset.

Please Dice let me keep classic.

Thousands of big Geeks are upset. This is not good situation.

Please fix so everyone is happy again.

Huge success (3, Insightful)

HalfFlat (121672) | about 8 months ago | (#46192073)

Hundreds of billions spent on drug development, primarily driven by state investment and infrastructure, and billions of people in India and elsewhere gain significant health benefits. Really, this is the way it is supposed to work. That some private individuals are not making as large a personal profit is purely their own problem.

Sounds a lot like DICE to me (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46192101)

Big pharma (Dice) wants to get rid of something good? (community) Well then, excuse me while I exit slashdot and head to altslashdot.org and support them instead. Fuck beta!

No magic bullet. (4, Informative)

westlake (615356) | about 8 months ago | (#46192117)

There is no quick, cheap, safe path to the development of a new drug.

Someone has to pay the bill.

Glaxo spent more than $350 million over 25 years to develop [a malaria] vaccine for military personnel and travelers and expects to invest an additional $260 million to complete development. But Glaxo was reluctant to pay for pediatric trials in impoverished nations on its own, so the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation provided $200 million through the nonprofit PATH Malaria Vaccine Initiative to drive development and testing over the finish line.

Hope for a Malaria Vaccine [nytimes.com] [Oct 1013]

Bad either way... (2, Informative)

frank_adrian314159 (469671) | about 8 months ago | (#46192145)

I am not a shill for the drug companies by any means. That being said, I think the third world's energies would be better spent dealing with their quality issues before they got butt hurt over this move by big pharma's lobby. In reality, drugs sourced from India and/or China are a crap shoot. Read Derek Lowe's blog "In the Pipeline [corante.com] " for information on this industry and pharmacological chemistry.

Yes, India may be getting unfairly punished for it's ability to manufacture drugs inexpensively, but unfair things go on all the time - just look at Slashdot beta!

Bullshit, lies, and steadfast refusal to disclose (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46192201)

From this [slashdot.org] :

We've had only a few major redesigns since 1997; we think it's time for another.

We know there's a real reason for this change that you steadfastly refuse to disclose. It's time to spill the beans. We know you're not spending money on this change just for the sake of change. So what's the real issue here?

We want to take our current content and all the stuff that matters to this community and deliver it on a site that still speaks to the interests and habits of our current audience, but that is, at the same time, more accessible and shareable by a wider audience.

Your vision for beta proves conclusively that this is a total lie. You continue to steadfastly refuse to identify anything that's supposedly not "accessible" or "shareable" in the classic version that was supposedly fixed in the beta version.

the need for a better framework for communicating about the How and the Why of this process.

This is complete, fucking, bullshit. No "framework" is needed. All it takes is one post that explains the situation honestly. You had your chance in this post, but you just continued your steadfast refusal to explain what's really going on.

You are alienating the entire community for a specific reason. We will see through all your lies and bullshit until you explain this reason. Again, no "framework" is needed. I think about 5 or 6 sentences of honesty will get the job done.

Fuck Beta! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46192307)

And also Fuck Beta!

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