One Pharmaceutical Company spent on Average $12 Billion per new Drug they brought to Market

Posted by PITHOCRATES - July 28th, 2013

Week in Review

People hate pharmaceutical companies.  They think they’re gouging them on the price of their medication.  If the people only knew what it cost to bring a new drug to market (see The Truly Staggering Cost Of Inventing New Drugs by Matthew Herper posted 2/10/2012 on Forbes).

The average drug developed by a major pharmaceutical company costs at least $4 billion, and it can be as much as $11 billion…

Bernard Munos of the InnoThink Center for Research In Biomedical Innovation…divided each drug company’s R&D budget by the average number of drugs approved…

The range of money spent is stunning. AstraZeneca has spent $12 billion in research money for every new drug approved, as much as the top-selling medicine ever generated in annual sales; Amgen spent just $3.7 billion. At $12 billion per drug, inventing medicines is a pretty unsustainable business. At $3.7 billion, you might just be able to make money (a new medicine can probably keep generating revenue for ten years; invent one a year at that rate and you’ll do well).

…the main expense is failure.

Why include failure in the cost? Right now, fewer than 1 in 10 medicines that start being tested in human clinical trials succeed…

It really does cost billions of dollars to invent new medicines for heart disease, cancer, or diabetes. The reality is that the pharmaceutical business is in the grip of rising failure rates and rising costs. We can all only hope that new technologies and a better understanding of biology will turn things around.

This is why our medicines are so expensive.  And why we have to wait for patents to run out before cheap generics hit the market.  Because whoever will manufacture those cheap generics didn’t have to spend $12 billion to bring the drug to market.

If drug companies can’t recover these massive costs they may do something worse than charge us an arm and a leg for a drug that will save our life.  They may stop bringing drugs that can save our life to market.

People say the profit incentive shouldn’t guide something as important as health care and medicine.  But what is the alternative?  Have the government spend $12 billion to develop a life-saving drug?  Because they’re so smart and motivated by social responsibility?  Instead of profit?  Yeah, they sure can pick winners in the private sector.  Like Solyndra.  If you’re not familiar with the name it’s because Solyndra filed bankruptcy.  Because their solar panels were the wrong solar panels to bet on in the private sector.  But the federal government bet $535 million in loan guarantees because they were so sure that Solyndra was a winner.  And their bankruptcy shows why we don’t want the government spending $12 billion to develop a life-saving drug.  For the federal government is just not good at bringing things to market.

So if we want these life-saving drugs we have to let these drug companies recoup the $12 billion they spent to bring a new drug to market.  For the sad reality is that $12 billion is a bargain compared to what the government would spend.

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Birth Control and Abortion may lead to Higher Incidences of Birth Defects

Posted by PITHOCRATES - February 10th, 2013

Week in Review

When we interfere with natural physiological functions of the human body bad things happen.  People who smoke a lot of cigarettes can get emphysema, lung cancer and heart disease.  People who drink excessive amounts of alcohol can suffer from liver disease.  Consuming too much sugar can lead to diabetes.  Drinking contaminated water can lead to dysentery and cholera.  If we take too many blows to the head we can suffer brain damage.  And so on.

The human body is an incredibly complex machine.  With many subsystems doing remarkable things.  And any time we interfere with these systems bad things happen.  Our doctors warn us all the time not to interfere with the normal functioning of these systems.  And they do this for all systems save one.  The reproductive system (see Older mothers driving up birth defect rate by Stephen Adams posted 2/6/2013 on The Telegraph).

Increasing numbers of older mothers and use of IVF has led to a marked increase in the number of babies born with birth defects since the 1980s, say researchers.

They looked at 5.4 million births across 14 European countries between 1984 and 2007.

They found that the rate of multiple births had increased by about 50 per over that timescale; while the rate of those births which also had congenital birth defects had doubled…

Professor Helen Dolk, from the Centre for Maternal Fetal and Infant Research, University of Ulster, and the co-author of the study, said: “The increase in multiple birth rates may be explained by changes in maternal age and increased use of assisted reproductive technology (ART).

“It is clear that more research needs to be done to determine the contribution of ART to the risk of congenital anomalies in multiple births.”

The study, based on data from a network of clinicians called the European Surveillance of Congenital Anomalies (EUROCAT), is published in the journal BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology.

Women attack their reproductive systems for years.  They take birth control.  Such as hormonal contraceptives.  Which prevent the physiological process the body is trying to do.  They have abortions.  Which interrupts the physiological change their body is going through.  While their bodies try to conceive women fight against this physiological process for years.  Delaying their child-bearing years.  Which is unnatural.  In fact, the female body is trying to conceive a child long before a girl is emotionally mature and even capable of caring for a child.

Before the sexual revolution most women were married and having their children in their twenties.  Allowing their bodies to complete the physiological process they were trying to complete.  So it’s no surprise that altering this physiological process may lead to complications in birth.  As well as a rise in breast cancer that also shows some correlation between birth control and abortion.

Incidences of birth defects and breast cancer have risen since the sexual revolution of the Sixties.  There could be other contributing factors.  But the prevention and delaying of a natural physiological process may be complicit in the rise of birth defects and breast cancer.  Just as smoking cigarettes can cause emphysema, lung cancer and heart disease.  Just as drinking excessive amounts of alcohol can cause liver disease.  Just as consuming too much sugar can cause diabetes.  Just as drinking contaminated water can lead to dysentery and cholera.  And just as too many blows to the head can cause brain damage.  Unnatural attacks on these physiological systems can all lead to bad things happening later in life.  And probably should be avoided.

Women may benefit by having their children earlier rather than later.  And once they have their children the use of birth control and abortion will be moot in regards to birth defects.  For they will not be having children that these physiologically altering processes can affect.

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Stem Cells from Cadavers promise more Hope than Embryonic Stem Cells ever Promised

Posted by PITHOCRATES - December 23rd, 2012

Week in Review

One of the most politicized subjects is stem cells.  The potential miracle cure for the worst that ails us.  They could make the blind see again.  And the paralyzed walk again.  The Left politicized Michael J. Fox and Christopher Reeve.  Saying we could cure Fox’s Parkinson’s disease and Reeve’s paralysis with the miracle of stem cells.  But not just any stem cells.  Embryonic stem cells.  That is if it wasn’t for the rascally Republicans who wanted Fox and Reeve to continue to suffer their maladies.  Even die.  Because Republicans opposed using aborted fetuses for ethical reasons.  While the Left wanted the use of embryonic stem cells as they would give abortions a higher purpose.  The gift of life.  After extinguishing life (see Cadaver stem cells offer new hope of life after death by Jessica Hamzelou posted 12/21/2012 on New Scientist).

Dead bodies can provide organs for transplants, now they might become a source of stem cells too. Huge numbers of stem cells can still be mined from bone marrow five days after death to be potentially used in a variety of life-saving treatments.

Human bone marrow contains mesenchymal stem cells, which can develop into bone, cartilage, fat and other cell types. MSCs can be transplanted and the type of cell they form depends on where they are injected. Cells injected into the heart, for example, can form healthy new tissue, a useful therapy for people with chronic heart conditions.

Unlike other tissue transplants, MSCs taken from one person tend not to be rejected by another’s immune system. In fact, MSCs appear to pacify immune cells. It is this feature which has made MSC treatments invaluable for children with graft-versus-host disease, in which transplants aimed at treating diseases such as leukaemia attack the child instead…

While only limited amounts of bone marrow can be taken from a living donor, a cadaver represents a plentiful source of cells, says D’Ippolito. “From one donor, you could take the whole spine, for example. You are going to end up with billions of cells…”

… Chris Mason at University College London sees a potential hurdle in using such MSCs in therapy. “The work is novel and intriguing… but it would be better to use a living donor,” he says. That’s partly because medical regulators oppose treating individuals with stem cells from more than one source. “You can always go back and get more stem cells from a living donor if you need them, but if you use a cadaver, you’ll eventually run out.”

They’re making great strides with adult stem cells.  From living donors.  And now from dead ones.  But one thing you don’t hear a lot about are advances made with embryonic stem cells.  Could it be that the Left was wrong all along?  That they were just looking for a noble purpose for abortions?  Perhaps.

A big problem with embryonic stem cells was their rejection.  Or complications that resulted in things like tumors.  Things that didn’t happen with adult stem cells.  Especially those harvested from the same body.  And now apparently from dead people.  People who have died from some other cause other than abortion.

The continued advances in adult stem cell research leave advances in embryonic stem cell research conspicuous by its absence.  Despite all of the false hope the Left gave people like Michael J. Fox and Christopher Reeve.  Suggesting that their arguments were more political than medical.  As everything with them is political.  For everything is about advancing their agenda.  And they were more than willing to lead medical research down a false path to advance their agenda.

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The British create Stem Cells from Blood that don’t have the same Rejection Problems as Embryonic Stem Cells

Posted by PITHOCRATES - December 2nd, 2012

Week in Review

Stem cells were all the rage once.  They were going to cure everything.  Even make Christopher Reeve walk again.  Who was paralyzed during an equestrian competition.  And who the Republicans wanted to stay paralyzed.  Apparently.  As they opposed using embryonic stem cells from aborted fetuses.  Worried of the precedent this would give.  Taking a life (an aborted fetus) so another life could live.

This raised a lot of ethical issues on the Right.  But not the Left.  Who looked at it as giving abortions a noble purpose.  Terminating the gestation of the fetus and using the embryonic stem cells to make miracle drugs.  It was a two-for for the Democrats.  Miracle drugs.  And a good reason to abort fetuses.  So it was all you heard about in the news.  The miracle of stem cells.  As long as they were embryonic stem cells, though.  For if it didn’t involve an abortion the Left didn’t seem to care much about it.  Which is a pity because there are some developments on the non-abortion-side of stem cell research (see Stem cells being made from blood by James Gallagher posted 11/29/2012 on BBC News Health).

A patient’s own blood has been used to make personalised stem cells, which doctors hope will eventually be used to treat a range of diseases…

Stem cells are one of the great hopes of medical research. They can transform into any other type of cell the body is built from – so they should be able to repair everything from the brain to the heart, and eyes to bone.

One source of stem cells is embryos, but this is ethically controversial and they would be rejected by the immune system in the same way as an organ transplant.

Researchers have shown that skin cells taken from an adult can be tricked into becoming stem cells, which the body should recognise as part of itself and would not reject.

Yawn.  You hear nothing from the American Left about these exciting developments.  I mean, you’re not hearing anything like the excitement we heard from them when they attacked any politician running for office who opposed the use of embryonic stem cells.  Michael J. Fox, suffering from Parkinson disease, even made a political ad to support a Democrat candidate who ran against a Republican who was opposed to the use of embryonic cells.  But these new developments will pass by quietly in the background.

It makes you think.  Especially with the past election.  Where abortion and birth control dominated the Democrats’ strategy.  They put the fear of God into as many women as possible that if the Republicans won women would soon be back in back-alleys for their abortions.  That birth control would soon become a thing of the past.  That all women would be reduced to being baby making machines.  Suffering through a life of cooking, cleaning and baby-making.  Hell on earth.  Or, in other words, being married.

It worked.  Women voted for President Obama to keep their birth control and abortion.  Even though no one was threatening to take it away.  And even though we’ve lived under 20 years of Republican presidents since the Sixties and not one of them took away their abortion or birth control.  But spreading the lie that the Republicans would do just that should they win election scared enough women to make a difference.  Which clearly shows why the Left was so excited about embryonic stem cells.  It provided a purpose for abortion.  A noble purpose.  To save life.  And how they wished with all of their might that embryonic stem cells delivered what some promised.  They would have loved to have that argument to make.  That abortion was not only a liberating women’s health issue but a noble issue as well.  Sigh.  It just wasn’t to be.  Sure, these new blood stem cells are an exciting development.  But where is the politics in that?

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Canada’s Supreme Court ends Pfizer’s Viagra Patent Rights Early

Posted by PITHOCRATES - November 25th, 2012

Week in Review

That little blue pill, Viagra, has been a great success.  Making a lot of men happy again.  And their wives.  Who are forever thankful that Pfizer created that little blue pill.  And were willing to pay anything for it.  To recapture the virility of their youth.  Even if it made Pfizer rich.  For the way these men looked at it Pfizer was doing God’s work.  Making the impossible possible.  And the thanks they get?  They lose their patent rights early (see Pfizer cuts Viagra price in Canada after court loss to generics 5 by Reuters posted 11/25/2012 on the Toronto Sun).

Pfizer Inc has cut the Canadian price of its Viagra erectile dysfunction drug after the Supreme Court of Canada opened the door to sales of generic versions of the drug, the company said on Thursday.

“We are lowering original Viagra’s price to be in line with generic versions because we are committed to ensuring that Viagra patients continue to have access to the original, made by Pfizer, and at a competitive price,” Scott Wilks from Pfizer’s Canadian subsidiary said in a statement.

The patent on Viagra had been due to expire in 2014 in Canada. The Supreme Court threw the door open to generics immediately on Nov. 8 when it ruled that Pfizer had not provided enough details when it filed its patent.

Why did Pfizer create Viagra?  Out of altruism?  Were they concerned that not enough men were having sex?  Did they want to make sure all husbands could satisfy their wives sexually?  No.  They did it for the money.  That’s why they spent a fortune to develop that pill.  And why they filed a patent to recover the money they poured into that pill.  To reap profits for all of their hard work.  That’s why Pfizer created Viagra.  And they wouldn’t have done it if they couldn’t have profited off of it.  Yes, the pills may have been expensive.  But if they weren’t allowed to charge those high prices after creating it they simply wouldn’t have created it.

This is how the pharmaceutical industry works.  There are no sure things when it comes to creating new drugs.  Only a lot of costly dead ends.  Which is why they have to profit greatly off of their successes.  To pay for those successes.  As well as to pay for all of those costly dead ends.

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Study finds Link between Smoking Marijuana and Testicular Cancer

Posted by PITHOCRATES - September 15th, 2012

Week in Review

Pot smoking can cause permanent brain damage.  It can lead to harder and more dangerous drug use.  But now there is something even more horrible it can do to you (see Marijuana use may increase risk of testicular cancer by Jon Bardin posted 9/10/2012 on the Los Angeles Times).

A new study, published Monday on the website of the medical journal Cancer, reports that men who have testicular cancer are twice as likely to have smoked marijuana before they were diagnosed than control subjects. The association existed only for nonseminomas, the more dangerous form of testicular cancer that is harder to treat.

In the study, carried out in Los Angeles, a team of researchers enrolled 163 men who had been diagnosed with testicular cancer between 1986 and 1991. They also recruited a larger group of control subjects who were matched to the patients on such characteristics as age, ethnicity, and what L.A. neighborhood the subjects lived in at the time they were diagnosed—a localized approach to controlling for socioeconomic status.

The researchers, led by Victoria Cortessis of the USC, quizzed the participants on a range of medical and lifestyle factors, including drug use. They found that marijuana use before they were diagnosed was linked to a two-fold increase in testicular cancer risk. Even with this increased risk, the likelihood of developing testicular cancer remains relatively low: According to the American Cancer Society, a normal man’s likelihood of developing the disease is about one in 270. The risk of dying from the disease is even lower, at one in 5,000.

One in 270?  The average graduating class size in a U.S. public school is about 125.  So if you go to high school in a big city chances are that at least one in your graduating class will have testicular cancer.  And the odds are that it will be one of the stoners in your grade.  And if you’re one of the stoners it could be you.  Sure, the odds are low.  But considering what’s at risk some may reconsider enjoying that ‘harmless’ marijuana.  Because it could cost a guy his two best friends.

So to wrap up marijuana may cause permanent brain damage, it may be a gateway drug to a more harmful drug/addiction or it may cause you to lose your testicles.  As sad as the first two are to consider it is probably the losing of your testicles that gets the attention of a young pot smoker most.  Even though the first two are far more likely to happen and destroy your life than the less likely losing of your testicles to marijuana-inflicted cancer.  Because a young man has priorities in his life.  And saving brain cells or avoiding drug addiction is clearly not one of them.

So don’t do drugs, high school kid.  Because it could kill you.  Or worse.  It could hurt your future sex life.  Giving a whole new meaning to the phrase if you don’t use them you will lose them.  To testicular cancer.

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Teens who Smoke a lot of Marijuana suffer Permanent Brain Damage

Posted by PITHOCRATES - September 1st, 2012

Week in Review

A new study is in.  And the conclusion is that marijuana use is bad.  Especially if you’re a teen (see Teen pot use linked to later declines in IQ by MALCOLM RITTER and NICK PERRY posted 8/27/2012 on the Associated Press).

Teens who routinely smoke marijuana risk a long-term drop in their IQ, a new study suggests…

Study participants from New Zealand were tested for IQ at age 13, likely before any significant marijuana use, and again at age 38. The mental decline between those two ages was seen only in those who started regularly smoking pot before age 18…

Pot is the most popular illegal drug in the world, with somewhere between 119 million and 224 million users between the ages of 15 and 64 as of 2010, the United Nations reported. Within the United States, 23 percent of high school students said they’d recently smoked marijuana, making it more popular than cigarettes, the federal government reported in June.

More popular than cigarettes?  Funny thing about a marijuana joint.  It doesn’t have a filter.  Smoking a joint is like smoking a Camel unfiltered cigarette.  Like people smoked once upon a time.  When smokers were smokers.  And smoked hardcore.  But now there is a war on smoking.  Something the Left endorses.  Yet those on the Left are generally in favor of decriminalizing drugs.  Especially marijuana.  The Left took Joe Camel off cigarette advertising because it was encouraging kids to start smoking.  So they got addicted to cigarettes.  They even sued Big tobacco.  But kids smoke more marijuana than cigarettes.  Getting more cancer-causing smoke in their lungs from illegal marijuana than from legal tobacco.  So while the Left plays nanny by trying to get cigarettes away from us they are trying to put kids at more risk.  For if marijuana is decriminalized it will be much easier for kids to smoke it.  Putting them at greater risk of lung cancer.  As well as that mental decline.  Guess the Left doesn’t like kids.

Young people “don’t think it’s risky,” said Staci Gruber, a researcher at the Harvard-affiliated MacLean Hospital in Belmont, Mass. Gruber, who didn’t participate in the new work, said the idea that marijuana harms the adolescent brain is “something we believe is very likely,” and the new finding of IQ declines warrants further investigation…

The study drew on survey data from more than 1,000 people in New Zealand, everybody born in the town of Dunedin during a year-long span ending in 1973. In addition to IQ tests, they were interviewed five times between ages 18 and 38, including questions related to their marijuana use.

At age 18, 52 participants indicated they had become dependent on marijuana, meaning that they continued to use it despite its causing significant health, social or legal problems. Ninety-two others reported dependence starting at a later age.

Researchers compared their IQ scores at age 13 to the score at age 38 and found a drop only in those who had become dependent by 18…

Among participants who’d been dependent at 18 and in at least one later survey, quitting didn’t remove the problem. IQ declines showed up even if they’d largely or entirely quit using pot at age 38, analysis showed…

The researchers also surveyed people who knew the study participants well at age 38. They found that the more often participants were rated as marijuana-dependent in the surveys over their lifetimes, the more memory and attention problems were noticed by their acquaintances over the previous year.

I think we all know someone who was dependent on marijuana when he or she was a kid.  One of my best friends was your classic stoner in junior high school.  He smoked and partied through junior high and part way through high school.  When he had the first of five kids.  And then dropped out.  Got a job.  Became a Republican.  And a responsible parent.  Both he and his wife.  Who remained together to raise all five kids.  And struggled to counteract the liberal education of their children when they got home from school.

Sometimes during a conversation my friend would stop mid-conversation, cock his head and stare blankly as he tried to remember what he was saying.  Then he laughed and joked about all the brain cells he destroyed when he was a kid.  Wishing he could have them back.  I didn’t know him before the brain damage.  But he sure was a good guy after the brain damage.  I always wonder what he might have done if he and cannabis never crossed paths.  Engineer?  Physicist?  Doctor?  President?  Who knows what he may have contributed had it not been for his introduction to cannabis.  I never asked but I wonder about that first time.  Was it peer pressure?  Was it a funny movie with a lovable stoner character?  Or did he have a friend with a dad who smoked pot?  It was something.  And whatever it was it changed his life forever.

And I wonder what might have been with all those other stoners out there.  What they might have done had they not descended into drug use.  Which makes the drug debate a difficult one.  Much violent crime traces back to illegal drug trafficking.  So decriminalizing drugs would go a long way to reduce that crime.  However, this isn’t the same as repealing prohibition.  Sure, if you drink enough you can kill yourself.  And abuse your family.  You can even get a liver transplant.  But you can never recover your damaged brain cells.  Once they’re gone they’re gone.  And there’s no going back to who you were.

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Canada may have National Health Care but they don’t Pay for all Life-Saving Drugs

Posted by PITHOCRATES - August 18th, 2012

Week in Review

You ever go to a microbrewery?  Where they will have numerous homebrewed beers to try?  Brew masters can create new flavors and tweak them until they find special ones people love.  And then they sell them.  Pretty simple.  Unlike bringing new life saving drugs to market.

Making new drugs is a costly endeavor.  It takes a lot of research.  A lot of pouring through data.  Studying how disease develops in the body.  Looking for things.  Thinking about things.  Hypothesizing about things.  Resulting in a proposed new drug.  Then experimentation.  Figuring out dosages.  Looking for side effects.  Adjusting chemical formulas.  The few promising ideas advance forward.  While the majority become discarded dead-ends.  After a lot of time human trials begin.  Where more times than not a brilliant idea fails to show a positive result.  And the drug is abandoned.  The tiny few that do show promise make it to the next level.  And eventually to FDA approval.  For some usages.  A new cancer drug may be approved for one or two types of cancer.  Providing a very limited market to recoup all those sunk costs.  So these new drugs carry high price tags.  Some drugs may receive FDA approval for other uses.  Some uses may lose their FDA approval as the drug may not show enough benefit to justify the cost.  Or the side effects.  Making it very difficult to recover costs on some drugs.  As well as funding new research and development on other drugs.

Developing new drugs is costly.  It takes enormous amounts of capital.  And time.  That someone has to pay for.  Even in countries with national health care systems.  Even in America under Obamacare.  For they may tax everyone to pay for health care.  But they must rely on others to make everything that’s good in those health care systems.  Especially those life-saving drugs (see Saint John man struggles to pay for cancer drug posted 8/13/2012 on CBC News).

A Saint John man and his family are struggling to figure out how they will pay for an expensive cancer drug that could prolong his life…

But the drug will cost $10,600 a month and it is not covered by the provincial government…

The couple appealed to the Department of Health for financial help to pay for the drug. But the provincial government also refused…

The New Brunswick government announced in 2009 that it would cover Avastin under the provincial drug program for people with metastatic colorectal cancer.

The Saint John man has a brain tumor.  While New Brunswick will authorize payment for Avastin for metastatic colorectal cancer it will not authorize payment for its use to treat brain tumors.  Because so far Avastin has not shown the same positive results in treating brain tumors that it has in treating metastatic colorectal cancer.  Provincial budgets are limited.  As they are at health insurance companies.  If they spend enormous amounts of money on treatments that offer a minimal chance of success they can’t spend that money on treatments that show far greater chances of success.  Meaning that overall more people will go without treatment.  And overall survival rates will fall.

There really is nothing more heart wrenching to know that there is a drug out there that may help but its cost puts it out of reach.  But it is important to understand what it took to get that drug to this level.  A drug company may have spent money developing it for 10 years or more before seeing a dime in revenue.  Contrary to popular belief, these drug companies aren’t evil corporations.  People work at these drug companies.  And as noble as it may be they can’t work without pay for 10 years.  Especially when a lot of their employees have PhDs with enormous student loan debt.  So the drug companies borrow a lot of money and take a lot of risks.  Even the successful ones that show fantastic profits can lose everything in one class-action lawsuit.

So there are great profits because there are great costs.  And great risks.  Which no one would take if there wasn’t a chance for great profits.  Which is why there is so much research and development at these drug companies.  Because we will reward the one that finds a cure for cancer with great profits.  Which is what we want.  Because we want their drugs.  The more they bring to market the better our treatment options.  And the more treatment options there are the quicker we’ll find those life saving-drugs.  That are so successful in treating patients that everyone will authorize payment for them.  Without worrying that doing so will cause other people to die.

Canada may have a national health care system but that doesn’t change this fact.  Nothing is free.  And taxpayers’ pockets just aren’t deep enough to provide the Utopian health care system people think of when they think of national health care.  It’s often not what people living outside these systems think they are.  They have real budgets.  Long waiting times.  Rationing of services.  And treatments.  As the Avastin drug clearly shows in Saint John.  And the more people a national system covers the worst it will be.  Because on top of everything else there will be a great health care bureaucracy pulling even more limited funds out of the health care system.  Where Obamacare will be the worst of them all.  Because of the advanced nations America has the greatest population of them all.  And will have the greatest number patients of them all.

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Scientists in Singapore have found the Wip1 Gene may be Responsible for Obesity, Heart Disease and Cancer

Posted by PITHOCRATES - July 8th, 2012

Week in Review

Businesses aren’t hiring in the U.S. because they have no idea what their labor will cost them under Obamacare.  They were hoping for a Supreme Court reprieve but their ruling went against them.  The Constitution.  And common sense.  They now look to the November elections as their last hope to remove this hiring obstacle.  But perhaps there is another way.  We can just stop being sick (see Singapore scientists discover control mechanism for obesity, cancer by Julia Ng posted 7/3/2012 on Channel News Asia).

A*STAR scientists in Singapore have made what is believed to be groundbreaking discovery of the mechanism that controls obesity, atherosclerosis and, potentially, cancer.

Scientists from the Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology (IMCB) and the Singapore Bioimaging Consortium (SBIC) said they have found a new signalling pathway that regulates both obesity and atherosclerosis.

The team showed, for the first time, that mice deficient in the Wip1 gene were resistant to weight gain and atherosclerosis via regulation of the Ataxia telangiectasia mutated gene (ATM) and its downstream signalling molecule mTor…

Obesity and atherosclerosis are accompanied by the accumulation of lipid droplets in fat cells and in foam cells respectively.

Foam cells can subsequently rupture, damaging blood vessels, and contributing to further progression of atherosclerosis.

The scientists discovered that Wip1 deficient mice, even when fed a high-fat diet, were resistant to obesity and atherosclerosis by preventing the accumulation of lipid droplets…

Together, these three pathological conditions — obesity, atherosclerosis and cancer — account for more than 70 per cent of mortality worldwide, making ATM-related pathways very attractive therapeutic targets.

Our friends in Singapore may have solved the Obamacare problem.  They may have found a way to prevent 70% of all illnesses.  Making a national health care system moot.  Imagine that.  Perhaps they and the pharmaceuticals can develop a pill therapy to remove the Wip1 gene from our bodies.  Allowing us to eat whatever we want to eat without any weight gain, heart disease or cancer.  Good for us.  Good for the over-burdened health care system.  But bad for the vegetable farmers that supply the salad industry.  Yes, salads can be yummy.  But so can a half-pound bacon cheeseburger.  And if both are just as good for you guess what people will be eating.

With such a pill there would be no reason NOT to repeal Obamacare.  Because with 70% of the stuff that kills us gone we’ll be able to afford the other 30%.  Cash out of pocket for the small stuff, perhaps via a medical savings account.  And a real insurance policy for the unexpected.  Like catching an infectious disease that requires hospitalization.  Health care problem solved.  And for far less that the trillion or so dollars Obamacare will cost us.

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Michael J. Fox admits Embryonic Stem Cell Research may not hold Cure for Parkinson’s Disease

Posted by PITHOCRATES - May 20th, 2012

Week in Review

During the 2006 midterm elections Rush Limbaugh and actor Michael J. Fox were at the center of a Missouri initiative to allow funding for embryonic stem cell research.  Limbaugh claimed Fox went off of his meds in political campaign ads to exaggerate the effects of the disease.  A webcam showed Limbaugh even mimicking Fox’s appearance.  Which did not make Limbaugh very popular. 

The ads said that embryonic stem cell research held the best possible chance to find a cure.  Opponents said that it would lead to harvesting human fetuses for medical research.  And contrary to the claims and media blitz embryonic stem cell research showed no such promising hope.  There were successes with adult stem cell research.  But not with embryonic stem cell research.  But the Left championed embryonic stem cell research as the Holy Grail to cure all that ails us.  Now some 6 years later even Michael J. Fox admits this research path may not yield the cure (see Michael J. Fox Looks Past Stem Cells to Internet for Parkinson’s Cure by Russell Goldman, ABC News, posted 5/18/2012 on Yahoo! News).

Michael J. Fox, whose turn from Parkinson’s disease patient to scientific crusader made him one of the country’s most visible advocates for stem cell research, now believes the controversial therapy may not ultimately yield a cure for his disease, he told ABC’s Diane Sawyer in an exclusive interview.

There have been “problems along the way,” Fox said of stem cell studies, for which he has long advocated.   Instead, he said, new drug therapies are showing real promise and are “closer today” to providing a cure for Parkinson’s disease, a degenerative illness that over time causes the body to become rigid and the brain to shut down.

 “Stem cells are an avenue of research that we’ve pursued and continue to pursue but it’s part of a broad portfolio of things that we look at. There have been some issues with stem cells, some problems along the way,” said Fox, who suffers from the diseases’ telltale tics and tremors.

 “It’s not so much that [stem cell research has] diminished in its prospects for  breakthroughs as much as it’s the other avenues of research have grown and multiplied and become as much or more promising. So, an answer may come from stem cell research but it’s more than likely to come from another area,” he said.

So why did the Left build up such false hopes?  Why did they insist that embryonic stem cell research held the secrets to cure people suffering from everything from Parkinson’s disease to paralysis?  They didn’t base it on medical research.  So what was it based on?  Politics.  I mean, if it was not good science what else could it be?  So what are the politics in this issue?  One can only guess it had to do with the source of those embryonic stem cells.  Abortions.  Perhaps the number one issue on the Left. 

Could this have all been about trying to give a higher and nobler purpose for all of those abortions?  That these aborted lives did not die in vain?  That they sacrificed so others may live?  Perhaps.  There is a reason why the Left championed this cause.  And this would explain why they would have given false hope to so many.  To further entrench abortion into our lives.

Everyone likes Michael J. Fox.  Whether you agree with his politics or not.  He deserved far better than to use his celebrity and his disease for political gain.

www.PITHOCRATES.com

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