March 31, 2021 |

Victor Niederhoffer  writes:

To what extent were major discoveries in pharmacy like Fleming on penicillin profit  making actives.

Henry Gifford writes

Fleming I heard wanted the world to enjoy and benefit from his discovery, thus he didn't patent it, thus nobody spent the money to get it tested and approved, thus it was another 10+ years until it was widely available. I don't know who footed the bill for his lab or his salary.

Much work on diseases has been done by various military organizations, as "casualties" (solders becoming unavailable to fight) in-theater are caused more by disease than enemy action in many wars. I hear the US Army reportedly cured yellow fever and maybe other things.

Stefan Jovanovich writes:

I think the discovery itself is often not profit motivated. Flemming: "One sometimes finds, what one is not looking for." I suppose one then needs to create an environment whereby one can not look for what one is looking for. Variously, pharma companies have tried it, given up on it, outsourced, and required it, depending upon their shareholders patience for R&D. Perhaps SPACs are the perfect vehicle as they are blind capital? There is an argument that RNA based medicine is going to be more targeted and solution oriented and therefore might fit the capitalist mould better.

Today PFE announced its vaccine is 100% effective on 12-15 year olds and should be distributed amongst that population. Is the justification for vaccinating that group that it will reduce transmission and therefore protect the old? Wouldn't it be better to deploy any injection to vulnerable groups? 12m kids is 15% of 70m seniors. Amid a pandemic, what historical parallel is there for a vaccine being given to one subpopulation (for whom the disease has minimal effect) in order to protect another (the old)? And what about the fact that giving acquired immunity to the young might reduce their innate immune response if there is an evolved variant of the virus (or is this not a possibility)?


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