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Commentary

Money is the Catalyst for Good Medicine
Charles Stein, The Boston Globe, 10-3-04

Mr. Stein critiques four recent books attacking the pharmaceutical industry as being uninnovative and too focused on profit. Stein argues that these Boston-area academics could "benefit from a stint at the Harvard Business School for a refresher stint in capitalism." He notes that competition forces people to work for advantages, and that the result is usually a better product. He also notes businesses don't like to take risks (do any of us?) and they need rewards to do so.

The critics he reviews argue that government should ban "me-too drugs" which are only marginally different than other drugs treating the same condition. One wonders how those critics would react to a critique of academia which argued that too much academic research is derivative or doesn't make real breakthroughs, so since much of that research is based on publicly-funded grants, the public should bar publication of "me-too" studies or books unless a super agency of researchers guaranteed this work was a clear improvement over what had gone on before. OK, I'm done wondering.



Project FDA.
  
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