“The big drug company Pfizer seems intent on being a pace-setter in cranking out the benefits of the tax cut to stakeholders who need them the least. In an announcement over the weekend, Pfizer said it was shutting down its research efforts on treatments for Alzheimer’s and Parkinsonism.” – LA Times
Hey, Conservatives. Every time you bitch about how much your meds cost or how your surgery blew your savings or that your stay in the hospital was totes outrageous, yo, try shutting the fuck up. You are the ones putting these greedy shitmongers in charge. You are the ones that insist on undermining your own healthcare by continuing to vote against your own medical interests, simply because some Fox talking head told you a scary liberal story about lustful welfare queens lining up every nine months to get they abortion so they can fit in that new prom dress they dead baby daddy bought with the food stamps you paid for on account Obama hates freedom.
Anyone in the medical, dental, veterinary or psychiatric professions knows full well about the rolling shortages, backorders, unavailability and absences affecting many life-saving, formerly easily available, basic drugs that are used constantly used daily for routine and emergent medical care. This epidemic of shortages is a relatively new phenomenon and is in stark direct parallel to the rising promotion and use of designer drugs, all starting with the now legal advertising direct to the consumer. The stupid, stupid consumer that knows exactly jack shit about medicine but likes slow motion, non-threatening handsome people doing outdoorsy things with a dark and moody backdrop that brightens suddenly at the mention of the new awesome drug that totally will fuck you up but you now totally need. I started a list here at first, but after getting more complete data, decided to post the link to ASHP’s full 2017 list. It’s 17 pages.
It’s insane what isn’t available, and often for months or even years at a time. Everyday shit like 0.9% saline and atropine injectable. Not having these available are basically the equivalent of being out of salt and napkins at a diner. Acetylcysteine, the only antidote for acetaminophen (Tylenol) poisoning, especially in cats? Nah. Shouldn’t have given Tabby that Excedrin, should you now? Diazepam (valium) injectable, 1st choice for seizures, especially in dogs and cats? Fuck it. It’ll pass. Eventually. Hope you got something more expensive like Versed lying around. Epinephrine? You guessed it. Hope your heart doesn’t stop. That’s the first thing you grab.
The lists of necessary drugs apparently not so necessary after all goes on, and on and on. Why? THEY DON’T GIVE A SHIT! Big Pharma doesn’t care because they don’t have to. They don’t have to because they have bought out your legislators and have replaced any semblance to ethics in their profession with corporate greed. It’s the capitalist way. Besides, they don’t have to make lifesaving drugs. There’s no law against it, right? Nope. You are right. There is no law against passive corporate indifference contributing to human suffering and death on a progressively worsening scale. Ya got me there. Center square gets the “X”.
But what about the costs? Why so high? You can argue all you want about how much is spent on R&D and how the cost of drugs needs to justify that investment money spent on R&D. You could argue that, but it would be a really, really dumb argument. Firstly, I’ve never fucking heard that argument applied to any other consumer good, allowing, of course, for medicine to be “consumer good”, since in essence it is treated as one in this country. How much was that Mazda CX-5 when it first came on the market? What was the R&D on that shit? Did you have to plunk down $330,000 for that baby? Or how about that Mossberg 20-gauge Shockwave pump action tactical shotgun? That bitch looks SWEEEEET! Must’ve set you back at least $20,000, what with all the R&D they invested. Please. Shut the fuck up.
Secondly, it’s the tail wagging the dog now, with Big Pharma developing a condition, percolating the need for the drug then ramping up the grossly overhyped “condition” rather that would fit a new drug than a response to a real need within the medical field based on real world data. Is it me or did Restless Leg Syndrome suddenly get cured just as suddenly as it showed the fuck up? There’s only so many plants manufacturing any given drug at any given time, so what’s really happening is preference is given to the money makers. The superstars. The broken ding-dong drugs and the happy pills. Dicks and the blues. That’s what we need. $40 pills and up, not $0.03 phenobarbital. Fuck AIDS, stroke, paralysis and Alzheimer’s. Uncle Steve can’t get his Wally-Wank to full mast. Which makes him sad. So get me some Happy Drugs for $50 a pop, STAT!
It’s going to get worse. Certainly while the GOP rules the roost. And even when it doesn’t, Conservatives have clearly shown how effective they are at stymieing the electoral and legislative process as well as distorting public opinion with lies and bloviated fear-based tactics. Which, honestly, again, not surprising. Corporations are not inherently bad. They just react financially to a given scenario. Ultimately, they have one and only one function: turning a profit for their shareholders. That’s it. They are not trying to make your life better. They aren’t trying to be your friend. They don’t worry how enviro friendly they are inasmuch as it affects their bottom line. They don’t believe in nor do they care nor understand what the fuck “gluten-free”, “non GMAO”, “organic”, “free range”, “all natural” or any of that shit is. I can tell you it’s not at all what you think it is. It’s just designed to increase profit for their shareholders. They are just crocodiles. They don’t hate what they consume; they don’t love what they consume. They only know they have to consume to stay alive. And the biggest, oldest, strongest ones know how to do it the best.
For a classic example, take General Motors, GM. Just three years ago in 2015, they settled a lawsuit with 127 families for 64 deaths. And not just deaths their automobiles caused or contributed to. Deaths that the company was FULLY AND KNOWINGLY AWARE OF FOR 13 GODDAM YEARS! And those are just the ones that were allowed to file, because “another 350 death and 3588 injury claims were deemed ineligible, with six additional minor-injury claims awaiting final review” because submissions didn’t meet the deadline. WHAT THE FUCK?! Now, I’ve known about this shit since it hit the fan, but watching the new super cool, ultra friendly GM ads with that one folksy, easy-talkin’ best buddy spokesman surprising a group of consumers with a crazy assortment of awesome displays of cars, you’d think that shit happened 40 years ago, if at all, instead of just THREE FREAKIN’ YEARS ago. This fucking company KNEW it was producing vehicles that were going to statistically kill a known percentage of the populace, and they fucking did it anyway. Because profit. It was more profitable to not do shit and chance a few lawsuits than to recall multiple millions of vehicles for an ignition switch costing less than 20 bucks. THAT is what a corporation is. And Big Pharma is no different.
The mistake people make is giving corporations a conscience, like they would a person. Whether they fall for their sleek manufactured earnestness or just don’t really care as long as they get’s they shit, the fault lies with the people allowing this: the voters. And not just on a consumer level. Corporate America and Congress are so inextricably joined now, a choice for one is a choice for the other. You want lower medical bills but you keep voting for Orrin Hatch, then fuck you! Better dump that timeshare. You want your MeeMaw to not have to sell her ranch on account of her Parkinson’s, but you keep voting for Paul Ryan, then fuck you! Better clean out the den, cuz guess who’s movin’ in with her morbidly obese, flatulent Shih Tzu? You hate shelling out $500 for a bottle of insulin that just last month was $40, but you think that Steve Scalise speaks God’s truth, then fuck you! Time to hang up on that dream of getting your own bass boat. Out of the top 20 legislators that get major contributions from Big Pharma, FIFTEEN are good old fashioned, God & guns lovin’ Republicans. Shocking…
Look, you’re not going to really change the essence of a crocodile. Never, ever? Never, ever. But corporations, like crocodiles, will evolve and will adjust to environmental changes in order to survive. Companies are already evolving in response to the call of the masses and not to blind loyalty to a clothes-less emperor. The Paris Accords, MeToo, Parkland and Black Lives Matter have all had huge impacts on how corporations act and what corporations will do to keep themselves pertinent players in a quickly evolving world, despite the GOP’s anchoring in a mythic past. Big Pharma doesn’t have to keep us in a chokehold. Unless, of course, you don’t believe in evolution AND you’re into autoerotic asphyxiation, like apparently Conservatives are. Then again, these guys are into weird shit. Or haven’t you read Leviticus or the Revelation? That’s fucked up.