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Aug 22, 2005


Bill Carroll

So long as the profit motive drives health care, we will have this kind of problem. Increasing public funding for drug R&D would be great and making sure that private firms do not gain patents for such publicly funded research would be wonderful. Everything would be the price of generic drugs.

All healthcare reform has to take as its standard what happens to those who are most vulnerable under the present system.


Initially, I thought that the plaintiff should have lost. Scientifically, there is nothing in the research that suggests Vioxx killed the man. He was, in fact, a walking time bomb and it was just a matter of time before he had a massive MI. On the other hand, and this was the plaintiff's smoking gun, Merck received word from the FDA that Vioxx indeed caused heart problems, and a higher up at Merck crunched the numbers and said, "if we can just hold off telling people about this for four months, we'll make an additional $250 million dollars." So it is no accident that the figure was also the verdict. In Texas, it will be struck down as excessive, but Merck got what it deserved.

But there is still a part of me that believes this case should have been decided on fact, and the fact is that we currently have no way of knowing, and therefore shouldn't just blindly believe, that an amazingly effective painkiller for so many people played a part in his death.

J. C. Fisher

Very astute analysis, Salty.

Under every issue, is a deeper issue (usually having to do w/ some form of existential angst---and I say that as one frequently in e.a.'s thrall ;-/).

Right decision for the wrong reason: better than the other way around!

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