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From: Steve Harris <>
Subject: Re: diseases of rich deprive poor of drugs
Date: 12 Sep 2005 16:30:58 -0700
Message-ID: <>

> Published on Sunday, September 11, 2005 by the
> Observer/UK
> Diseases of Rich Deprive Poor of Drugs
> by Anushka Asthana
> The world's poorest people are being denied access to
> drugs because pharmaceutical companies are focusing
> their resources on diseases suffered by wealthy,
> middle-aged Americans, such as obesity and heart disease, a
> leading expert will say tomorrow.
> Dr David Rhodes, the Health Protection Agency's (HPA)
> head of business development, will claim that
> spiraling costs are driving firms to invest primarily in drugs
> that tackle diseases of 'older Americans'.
> As a result, the international market has been flooded
> with medicines to treat 'American diseases' such as
> high blood pressure, obesity, heart disease and cancer,
> while drugs to tackle tuberculosis, malaria and
> water-borne diseases prevalent in the poorest countries have
> been neglected.


It's worse than that!  The world's poorest countries have no food
because the big food corporations are figuring out how to put more
steak and bacon on North American tables, not send grain to Africa. And
MacDonalds is spending THEIR money developing things like nice crispy
Waldorf salads, to help people who ate too many Big Macs lose weight.
None of this does any good at all for Joe Botswana.

The poor of the world have no transporation or even tractors, because
the rich car companies are involved in doing things like figuring out
how to do remote monitoring of vehicles, so Sally Slowitz can use her
cell phone, to get a satellite in outer space to fix it whenever she
locks her carkeys inside the minivan.  Who said high tech wasn't good
for anything?  There are 9 year-old on TV making you feel guilty if you
don't have a car with this sytem.  So John Suburb has to have one.

The poor of the world have no clothing, because the Nike is using all
its money to develop things like $100 Air Zoom LeBron 2 basketball
shoes, which the disadvantaged youths of the Hood have to have. And
seem to magically have the money to buy. (Where DO they get it?  It's a
mystery. I have the feeling it comes out of my taxes somehow, but
perhaps that's just cynicism.)

All this is called "The Global Free Market."  It has given us our
present world. Before that, we had something called "The Dark Ages"
which wasn't nearly so pleasant, even for Africans. Malaria and TB were
the least of the concerns of Africans then, even before they were
forced to make Nikes in sweatshops. (Africans back then spent their
time making war on each other, and only got into world trade when they
discovered they could sell the losers to the Portuguese).

So, back to our original subject-- could the global free market work
for the third world?  Answer: Yes, if they could free up the capital to
participate in it. The problem is that most of the third world doesn't
have any legal tradition which allows that. In the first world, the
most common way of raising capital for a small is to borrow money
against real-estate. But if you can't prove you own real-estate, that's
impossible. And in most of the third world, it's astonishingly
impossible to do. So people are stuck. They have stuff, they use stuff.
But they can't turn it into capital. In short, their legal systems
suck.  Ours work better, except that we've tacked on some new ones in
the pharm industry which wipe out nearly all the advantages of capital
mobility here in the West.

Enter the FDA. If you think legal systems suck, this one is the main
sewer of them all.

> Presenting his research at the HPA's annual conference
> tomorrow, Rhodes will show that more and more
> pharmaceutical companies are moving their headquarters to the
> US in search of profits. Once there, they pump money
> into treatments that help the local population to live
> longer.
> 'Drugs and vaccines are becoming phenomenally
> expensive to develop,' said Rhodes. 'Companies have to recoup
> their investments by selling the drugs and vaccines.
> To be economic, they need a large population and the
> price has to be high. That increasingly means that drugs
> are developed for older Americans, who are getting
> healthier and living longer.'
> Costs are soaring, added Rhodes, because of extensive
> safety and efficacy testing and the fact that many
> drugs that show 'early promise' never make it through the
> checks.


And there you are. But liberals, who want to help the developing world,
seem to want to do it by making sure even more safeguards are in place
to increase "extensive safety and efficacy testing" (thus insuring even
higher development costs) and make sure that even MORE drugs that show
early promise never "make it through these checks." That's so we can
make sure we don't release a drug which kills even one person in a
million, against a disease that naturally kills 10 or 100,000 in a
million. First do no harm, you know.

So more than a million kids die in Africa every year because they have
no vaccines? Well, let's listen to the Left, whose idea is to tighten
safety standards on vaccines. Somebody might get autism from vaccines,
and you never know who. So I propose: let's send RFK., Jr. to Africa!
If out of 700,000 dying African kids with measles, there's one who
might instead have gotten autism from thimerosal, then RFK, Jr. will
find him. ***And bring him home.***

That's MY plan. At least it will save one African, and it will give
RFK, Jr. some press, which he apparently badly needs.

Otherwise, I can't think of what to do with starving multitudes who
have screwed-up legal systems which keeps them from participating in
the global economy. It might help to change the legal systems, but that
takes lawyers, and they cost money. Send a donation to Hernando De Soto
at the Institute for Liberty and Democracy:

I don't know what to do with Nike and MacDonalds and GM and so on who
cater to the first-world middle-class, either. Shame on them. If they
did anything else, their stockholders would want their CEOs to be put
into prison, but that's no excuse, is it? Do you want starving African
kids, or American Seniors with fully funded retirements?  You can't
have both ways, you know. Probably any senior citizen with a retirement
portfolio worth more than half a million should have anything over that
confiscated and sent to Nigeria. That will show capitalism who's boss,
and help the Nigerians also.

Nor do I have any idea about what to do with rich countries (like my
own) who have no access to cheap and effective drugs, because they also
have a screwed-up legal/regulatory system. And because they have no
feeling for what it means to take risks. And no idea that the proper
thing to do with injury lawyers, is to injure them. As painfully as
possible. (Just try not to get caught at it.) How to make them see the

I suppose my own rich country will just have to pay a lot for medical
care and legal bills, and die of treatable ailments, anyway. I can't
get them to listen. All I get in return is the usual liberal
soundtrack, when I try. It sounds a lot like Peter, Paul and Mary. The
FDA is the single worst holdup to research in the US, and the Left's
answer to this problem is a bigger FDA. Hello? Something seems to be
wrong with the feedback, because all I get is a rising howl, and
nothing else.


From: Steve Harris <>
Subject: Re: diseases of rich deprive poor of drugs
Date: 12 Sep 2005 21:39:43 -0700
Message-ID: <>

fresh~horses wrote:
> > 	I'm miles away from you politically, but I always enjoy your writing!
> >
> > Thanks,
> > Steve
> Remember that when you next view an art show which has content with
> which you disagree. Just judge the artwork. Didja like it? Then don't
> let the anal rapes get to you. Don't forget to sign the guestbook with
> your laudatory comments on your way out.


"Anal rapes?" Smoking something particularly bad tonight, Zee?

It's Africa, folks. A place where, in one country (Rwanda) two groups
of people no more politically or ethnically different than Northern
Yankies and Southern Rednecks, decided they were going to have a
genocide after the killing of the president (by who knows who). Think
of more people killed in the American Civil war in 4 years, killed
instead in 3 months. Men, women, children. Many by machette, up close
and personal. Because somebody was pissed off about the assassination
of a Lincoln or a JFK, and decided a whole subculture was going to be
put to death for it.

And in this context, we're supposed to feel guilty that our drug
companies aren't developing more malarial vaccines down there, with
proper institutional review board approval. My, we capitalists are
brutal bastards, aren't we?  How can Western Civilization live with
itself? The guilt!


From: Steve Harris <>
Subject: Re: diseases of rich deprive poor of drugs
Date: 12 Sep 2005 22:10:24 -0700
Message-ID: <>

O'Hush wrote:
> > I'm miles away from you politically, but I always enjoy your writing!
> >
> > Thanks,
> > Steve
> Me too.  I think generally the most obnoxious people on both sides of the
> political spectrum do all the talking; the strident and unreasonable on the
> left, and the bigoted and undereducated on the right.


  Well, the idea that those on the right are likely to be more bigoted
and undereducated than those on the left, is itself a somewhat bigoted
thought. It might be true that those on the right have had to swim (or
have chosen to swim) fewer miles down the foggy rivers of academic
leftist "humanities" courses, but never imagine that that kind of thing
is the only actual higher education there is. Education is also quantum
mechanics, electronics, physiology, and how to make a large structure
out of pre-stressed concrete that won't fall down.

   I hypothesize that it's all those humanities courses that cause the
left to continuously propose solutions for the Third World that sound
marvelously fair and democratic, but unfortunately are impossible from
the engineering standpoint. The political, cultural and economic
systems in place will no more support them, than a chickenwire net will
support an Abrams tank. The laws of economics are not much more
maleable than the laws of gravity are. But it's nice to think about. I
like science fiction, too. When you read activist authors who know
nothing about medicine or pharmacology taking about drug development in
the third world, just think of it as something like Star Trek. It's
good for a smile, until some timer in the kitchen goes off, and you
have to get back to reality.


From: Steve Harris <>
Subject: Re: diseases of rich deprive poor of drugs
Date: 12 Sep 2005 22:50:56 -0700
Message-ID: <>

fresh~horses wrote:
> Death for lack of a drug that might cost pennies. Callousness for those
> with intractable diabetes.

The reason the drug doesn't cost pennies is usually government
regulation. All calousness needed is provided by those who push the
regulation. Though they deny it, the effect is the same. Much the same
can be said for diabetes. These people want government to fix the
problem, when government usually IS the problem. Specifically, it's
usually their next door neighbors, signing petitions against stem cell
research, or against genetic engineering, or badmouthing some new
treatment as being no better than the last, but more expensive (and
besides, the government won't pay for it). It is only "callous" to
expect adults to learn, if you are thinking of adults as children in
the first place.

> What useful tutorials Steve. Let's hope this gushing admiration for
> your work there is remembered the day you rip and ridicule those who
> have AIDS or HCV, or
> ...ADHD.


Oh, my, ADHD! The disease I suggested didn't exist. Instead, I
suggested that we simply let people who think they might function
better on amphetamines, have some in order to see if they did. And if
so, how much better. After that, they and their doctors could keep
track of how much of the stuff it took for them.  Or they could do it
without the doctor, if they wanted to do it the dangerous way.  You can
learn to scuba dive without an instructor, too, if you want to. The
only trick is getting bodybody to sell you air, but you can usually get
around that.....

I think my detractors insist that ADHD be a real disease, because they
are horrified that people might be able to buy the amphetamines for
themselves or their little overacheivers, without getting the official
label by the official (paternalistic patriarchal) person in charge.
The insisters on the label are those who really, really want the
external labeling game, complete with all the authoritarianism that
comes with it (all the way down to people breaking down your door and
putting you in a cage if you haven't got the label from the proper

Now, please try to separate ridicule for people who simply want
amphetamines, from ridicule for people who want them for themselves but
nobody else (unless the major authoritarian game is played, complete
with yours truely in godlike judgement mode, for a price. And usually
with proper attention to class distinctions).

Gosh, it seems I'm a heartless bastard, aren't I? Clearly, the social
labeling game, backed up with the cops and the jails, and me the doc in
the catbird seat, is better. That's where you like to see your doctors,
hey?  Haven't you said so?  No?

Why don't you go back and read my ADHD oeurve, posted nicely on the net
already, and get back with us. I think you might profit by thinking it
out again. I already have. It took me a long time to do it, and I'm not
going to repeat it.


From: Steve Harris <>
Subject: Re: diseases of rich deprive poor of drugs
Date: 14 Sep 2005 15:07:59 -0700
Message-ID: <>

Mark & Steven Bornfeld wrote:
> Steve Harris wrote:
> 	There's all kinds of bigotry, of course.  Take my wife (another lefty)
> and her attitudes about--New Jersey.  Of course, she grew up in
> Cincinnatti, so what can you expect?

I think there's a rule that bigotry can be applied to New Jersey
without consequences. Whatever it is, the garden state probably did
something to deserve it.

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