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rationaloptimism 66 posts  |  Last Activity: May 18, 2016 3:28 PM Member since: Jun 11, 2012
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  • Pick your poison (no pun intended).

    Neither Donald nor Hillary nor Bernie (nor even Joe and Elizabeth) are going to leave MRK's business alone. Right now Americans are paying 4X more per pill of the same drug than the rich citizens of Canada, Germany, England, Japan, etc. You'll be hearing A LOT about that this campaign season!

    What could happen:

    1) Investigations and indictments related to "gray areas" of pharmaceutical research, PR, distribution, kickbacks, etc. etc. (Please note that Big Pharma has already paid billions in fines for kickbacks, poor manufacturing practices, and Medicare Fraud---during "friendly" administrations! Imagine what will happen if Hillary or the Donald get in and turn up the heat!)

    2) Medicare starts negotiating drug prices! Aaaarrrggghh! That would CRUSH MRK revenues! Imagine the billions in lost revenue if Americans only had to pay 2-3X more than Canadians instead of 4X!

    3) Importers allowed to resell drugs purchased abroad! This is the law in most other industries. If it gets applied in Pharma, kaboom! U.S. drug prices would collapse!

    4) Even if NONE of the above come to pass, the American people are NOT going to be feeling so hot about pharmaceuticals after the politicians spend the next 6 months telling them Merck is ripping them off. People will drop their prescription drug regimens out of spite! Once the faith starts to erode, it's hard to bewitch the people a second time. The drug companies may come to WISH they had cut prices BEFORE the politicians yammered about it, so at least the patients didn't start to lose faith in the magic of little pills.

    Wheeeeee!

  • rationaloptimism by rationaloptimism May 16, 2016 2:13 PM Flag

    "Sleazy Drug Lord Merck, through it’s cash strewing lobbying teams nationwide, set out the same “Mandatory Vaccine” legislation in about twenty States. Now they are suffering the consequences. Backlash.

    Never before has there been such a worldwide “anti-vaccination” campaign, extolling the horrors of vaccines. The Vaccine Construction, made up of Merck, the Center for Disease Control (CDC), State Public Health agencies, are, suddenly getting much more deserved scrutiny then ever before."

    Poor Merck. A public company under pressure to show growth pushed for it in a stupid way. Trying to USE government to let them, Merck, come between parents and children. They have awakened a parental passion which will destroy them. If their vaccine propaganda fails against the army of mothers who know better, the entire pharmaceutical paradigm will be exposed.

    They should have left well enough alone. They should have been satisfied with their BILLIONS in annual profits. But no. They wanted more. Mandatory injections of their products. LOL.

    They are forcing these mothers with vaccine-damaged children to come out of the shadows and speak! Moms like talking to each other. This kind of thing spreads. When the dust settles, the sales of ALL Merck drugs will fall. Merck's business requires people to trust them. They have abused that trust, and the word is spreading like wildfire.

    The Moms won't be happy to know that Merck knows that sales of its top-selling drug, Singulair the asthma drug, go up BECAUSE of vaccine-caused asthma! LOL!

  • rationaloptimism by rationaloptimism May 10, 2016 11:10 PM Flag

    This week, after long resisting Mr. Sanders’s call for a single-payer health care system, Mrs. Clinton embraced allowing people as young as 50 to buy into Medicare.

  • rationaloptimism by rationaloptimism May 9, 2016 11:18 PM Flag

    Many surveys have shown that doctors themselves are the LEAST vaccinated in their communities.

  • PRESCRIPTION DRUGS ARE THE THIRD LEADING CAUSE OF DEATH AFTER HEART DISEASE AND CANCER. In his latest ground-breaking book, Peter C Gotzsche exposes the pharmaceutical industries and their charade of fraudulent behaviour, both in research and marketing where the morally repugnant disregard for human lives is the norm. He convincingly draws close comparisons with the tobacco conglomerates, revealing the extraordinary truth behind efforts to confuse and distract the public and their politicians. The book addresses, in evidence-based detail, an extraordinary system failure caused by widespread crime, corruption, bribery and impotent drug regulation in need of radical reforms. "The main reason we take so many drugs is that drug companies don't sell drugs, they sell lies about drugs. This is what makes drugs so different from anything else in life...Virtually everything we know about drugs is what the companies have chosen to tell us and our doctors...the reason patients trust their medicine is that they extrapolate the trust they have in their doctors into the medicines they prescribe. The patients don't realise that, although their doctors may know a lot about diseases and human physiology and psychology, they know very, very little about drugs that hasn't been carefully concocted and dressed up by the drug industry...If you don't think the system is out of control, please email me and explain why drugs are the third leading cause of death...If such a hugely lethal epidemic had been caused by a new bacterium or a virus, or even one-hundredth of it, we would have done everything we could to get it under control."

  • Article:

    "How I Got The $84,000 Hepatitis C drug For $1500 By Buying It From India

    How I got around one of the most obscene examples of Big Pharma overreach."

    Just think about this. Americans are being charged $1000 PER PILL for this drug. That egregious overcharging today shows up in drug company revenue. The only way these companies will preserve their current valuations is if this "Big Pharma overreach" NEVER ENDS.

    Given that citizens of all other countries pay MUCH LESS than Americans pay, there is a LOT of room for American drug prices to COME DOWN. And the people and politicians will increasingly be screaming for it to happen. And when it does, even a little bit, KABOOM. Revenues will implode.

  • "Oh, It's Not A Racket?

    Oh yes it is.

    'My parents were just vacationing in Europe (they go often so they're aware of how stuff works). My mom is diabetic and had a shortage of insulin while in France, they went to the drugstore and she showed the bottle of Humalog which is what she uses in the United States and the price in the United States is around $240 a bottle which is charged to her Medicare and insurance and can only be prescribed by her doctor.

    The pharmacist recognized the bottle and without having to go to a doctor sold her a bottle of insulin for US $25.00.

    This is the same brand made by Eli Lilly that she gets in the United States and why in the in the world that should be 1/10 of the price without having to go to the doctor for a prescription.'

    Quoted with permission.

    Note this well folks: No prescription needed and 1/10th the price for the exact same drug.

    Fill your suitcase and bring same home with you and you'll go to prison.

    Note that you're not counterfeiting anything, you're not adulterating anything and you lawfully own that which you're bringing into the country for the purpose of nothing other than making a profit.

    If this sort of price-fixing, which is supposed to be a felony under 15 USC was to be stopped then the drug would cost $25/bottle -- or slightly more, since of course the person bringing it would like to make a profit -- here.

    Even with a reasonable profit -- say, $5/bottle -- it would still collapse the price in the United States instantly."

  • rationaloptimism by rationaloptimism May 9, 2016 9:53 AM Flag

    Pharmaceutical drugs are going to become....much less popular.

    Just like cigarettes, just like soda.

    People used to think these things were fine, then they realized they were unhealthy, then they became unpopular and went into secular decline.

    The U.S. is a pill-popping country. The market is saturated. Most middle-aged people have pill boxes to KEEP TRACK of all the prescription drugs they are taking. Pharmaceutical drugs are HOT. Everyone believes in them. For now. But there is nowhere to go but down.

    Look at the loss of trust in authority. People hate Congress, they hate the banks, they hate the police. The voters in both parties are revolting against the party establishment. This energy is REAL. And the medical establishment will not be immune from this new revulsion of traditional authority.

    People used to think of doctors as holy scientists, as trusted healers, as highly-trained sources of all knowledge. People don't trust their doctors anymore. They do their own research.

    People don't trust corporations anymore either. They see them as corrupt profiteers. When a pharmaceutical company discovers a new "wonder drug," the response used to be excitement at the new "discovery." Now the response is an eye-roll, an assumption that the testing was faked, that the FDA and the CDC are captured regulators who put profits before people.

    Look at the organic food movement. All the moms wanting to keep chemicals (and drugs) OUT of their children. These aren't hippies, these are upper class families. The upper classes were the first to stop smoking and the first to stop drinking soda. Then the new trends swept through the broader population.

    Investors keep assuming these drug companies will not only retain their revenues and margins, but actually grow. On the contrary, the golden age for drug companies is already in the rear view mirror. Sales of pharmaceutical drugs are going to SHRINK. Investors haven't even STARTED to adjust. Beware.

  • rationaloptimism by rationaloptimism May 8, 2016 8:29 PM Flag

    Stephen A. Krahling and Joan A. Wlochowski. They’re former virologists at Merck. They’re insiders. They’ve leveled devastating charges against the company, which manufactures the MMR vaccine and sells it to the federal government.

    In 2010, the whistleblowers filed a suit against Merck. The suit drags on in court (“UNITED STATES OF AMERICA et al. v. MERCK & CO.,” Case No. 2:10-cv-04374-CDJ).

    The Huffington Post reports on the charges in the suit (“Merck Has Some Explaining To Do Over Its MMR Vaccine Claims,” 9/24/2014, updated: 11/27/2014):

    “…former Merck scientists [claim] that Merck ‘fraudulently misled the government and omitted, concealed, and adulterated material information regarding the efficacy of its mumps vaccine in violation of the FCA [False Claims Act].’”

    “According to the whistleblowers’ court documents, Merck’s misconduct was far-ranging: It ‘failed to disclose that its mumps vaccine was not as effective as Merck represented, (ii) used improper testing techniques, (iii) manipulated testing methodology, (iv) abandoned undesirable test results, (v) falsified test data, (vi) failed to adequately investigate and report the diminished efficacy of its mumps vaccine, (vii) falsely verified that each manufacturing lot of mumps vaccine would be as effective as identified in the labeling, (viii) falsely certified the accuracy of applications filed with the FDA, (ix) falsely certified compliance with the terms of the CDC purchase [of the MMR vaccine] contract, (x) engaged in the fraud and concealment described herein for the purpose of illegally monopolizing the U.S. market for mumps vaccine, (xi) mislabeled, misbranded, and falsely certified its mumps vaccine, and (xii) engaged in the other acts described herein to conceal the diminished efficacy of the vaccine the government was purchasing.’”

  • rationaloptimism rationaloptimism May 8, 2016 8:20 PM Flag

    A landmark study out of John Hopkins. It was published on July 26, 2000, in the Journal of the American Medical Association: “Is US health really the best in the world?” The author was Dr. Barbara Starfield, a revered public health expert.

    Starfield, in her study, separated deaths from errors/mistreatment in hospitals, and deaths from medical drugs:

    * Yearly deaths from mistreatment and errors in hospitals: 119,000.

    * YEARLY DEATHS FROM CORRECTLY PRESCRIBED MEDICAL DRUGS: 106,000.

    Pharmaceutical drugs are the new asbestos. Get ready.

  • New research out. Check out the story.

    The consensus that big pharma and big medicine are miracles is starting to crack. No matter what the paid-off doctors recommend, the amount of prescriptions people take is about to start declining. People are going to stop believing.

    According to the research, engaging with the Medical Establishment is more likely to kill you than almost anything else! 9.8% of all annual deaths are caused by medical error!

  • Reply to

    Clinton's new drug price attack

    by rationaloptimism May 5, 2016 2:09 PM
    rationaloptimism rationaloptimism May 6, 2016 11:50 AM Flag

    Yes, rje437. And it is right and good that U.S. citizens should pay 4X more than all other countries to help poor little Merck with the cost of research. U.S. voters LOVE that and think it's TOTALLY fair. LOL.

    All the rich Europeans get to pay much less for Merck products than U.S. citizens. The hoity toity Brits, the fancy pants Swiss, the snobby French, the BMW and Mercedes driving Germans. They all pay less and U.S.. citizens pay much much more.

    Historically, politicians have thrown U.S. citizens under the bus to help Merck. It looks like that's likely to change. If it does change, even a little bit, Merck is in serious trouble.

    But hey, if you can convince the voters to pick Jeb Bush or Barack Obama, maybe things can continue as they are a little longer. But if they pick Clinton, Sanders, or Trump, drug prices will stop increasing and start falling.

    Enjoy!

  • rationaloptimism by rationaloptimism May 5, 2016 2:19 PM Flag

    "Remove barriers to entry into free markets for drug providers that offer safe, reliable and cheaper products. Congress will need the courage to step away from the special interests and do what is right for America. Though the pharmaceutical industry is in the private sector, drug companies provide a public service. Allowing consumers access to imported, safe and dependable drugs from overseas will bring more options to consumers.";

    This will not be good for the pharmaceutical business!

    Big Pharma has had a nice ride.

    But they are about to enter a very hot seat, become political punching bags, and have their U.S. drug prices HALVED or more.

  • rationaloptimism by rationaloptimism May 5, 2016 2:17 PM Flag

    She's got Big Pharma in her sights. They beat her once before. This time she will shoot to kill.

    "Hillary Clinton is back on the drug-price warpath. Clinton criticized a system in which a miraculous cure for can be cheap in Egypt but unaffordable in some U.S. states.

    A company came up with a great, lifesaving, curative drug that we had something to do with, and they're willing to sell it at a really cheap price nearly anywhere else but here," Clinton said. "We can't let that go on.”

    Clinton's declaration that this pricing disparity can't go on, while predictably populist given the circumstances, is potentially loaded. Right now, her plan to curb drug prices includes lower caps on out-of-pocket costs, programs to import drugs from abroad, and enabling Medicare to negotiate with drugmakers.

    Getting prices on drugs level with the rest of the world would require all of that and possibly more, up to price controls of one kind or another. This would bring Clinton closer to her position in the 1990s, when she pushed for cost to be a part of FDA decisions on approving drugs.

    Clinton's comments could revive a fear that spooked investors in the fall -- that she would campaign partly on drug pricing and, if elected, make a priority of policies the industry has been fighting for years.

    There is a growing wave of public outrage at drug pricing.

  • rationaloptimism by rationaloptimism May 5, 2016 2:13 PM Flag

    Clinton AND Trump want to punish drug companies for price gouging American consumers. They both propose importing the drugs from abroad at the foreign price, which is often 4X less than Americans pay.

    If EITHER of them get elected, things are going to get worse for Big Pharma.

    You better pray for an Obama third term!

    But do you want to BET on it?

  • rationaloptimism by rationaloptimism May 5, 2016 2:09 PM Flag

    After shaking the pharmaceutical industry earlier this year with a tweet, Hillary Clinton is back on the drug-price warpath. Her comments at a New Hampshire town hall on Tuesday should worry conventional drug makers.

    Clinton criticized a system in which a miraculous cure for Hepatitis C (HCV) can be cheap in Egypt but unaffordable in some U.S. states. The market reaction has been muted, especially compared to the swoon Clinton induced back in September. The Nasdaq Biotech Index, which fell 4.4 percent on the day of Clinton's fateful tweet, was down less than 1 percent on Wednesday. That reaction may turn out to be too mild.

    "A company came up with a great, lifesaving, curative drug and they're willing to sell it at a really cheap price nearly anywhere else but here," Clinton said. "We can't let that go on.”

    Clinton's declaration that this pricing disparity can't go on, while predictably populist given the circumstances, is potentially loaded. Right now, her plan to curb drug prices includes lower caps on out-of-pocket costs, programs to import drugs from abroad, and enabling Medicare to negotiate with drugmakers.

    This would bring Clinton closer to her position in the 1990s, when she pushed for cost to be a part of FDA decisions on approving drugs.

    Clinton's comments could revive a fear that spooked investors in the fall -- that she would campaign partly on drug pricing and, if elected, make a priority of policies the industry has been fighting for years.

    But there is a growing wave of public outrage at drug pricing.

    the fact that Clinton is looking at cracking some harder nuts should be a concern for the whole industry.

  • rationaloptimism by rationaloptimism May 5, 2016 2:03 PM Flag

    Trump's health care policy:

    "Remove barriers to entry into free markets for drug providers that offer safe, reliable and cheaper products. Congress will need the courage to step away from the special interests and do what is right for America. Though the pharmaceutical industry is in the private sector, drug companies provide a public service. Allowing consumers access to imported, safe and dependable drugs from overseas will bring more options to consumers."

    If any of this happens, MRK profits are going to suffer mightily.

  • rationaloptimism by rationaloptimism May 5, 2016 2:01 PM Flag

    MRK is already tanking and this is as good as it gets!

    The Democrats won't shut up about lowering drug prices. Hillary will get her revenge for MRK helping to block her 1990s health care reform initiative.

    Unless....TRUMP! Who will be even worse for MRK! He SEES that the big profits depend on overcharging Americans, and he WILL change it.

    Buckle up, buttercup. The political headwinds for Merck are going to start blowing harder and harder.

    In addition to the coming changes which will smack down not just profits but REVENUE, Hillary and Donald are going to do an awful lot of trash talking. The American public's long obsession with pill popping is already starting to change.

  • rationaloptimism by rationaloptimism Apr 29, 2016 10:36 PM Flag

    "When their medications are cheaper abroad, Americans should be allowed import them from other countries that have strong safety standards like the U.S.

    We can also drive down drug prices by increasing competition. To do that, we have to clear out the backlog at the FDA’s Office of Generic Drugs so that they can get more generics into the market. We also have to put a stop to the so-called “pay for delay” arrangements that drug manufacturers use to keep drug competitors off the market. That alone would lower prices and save the government up to $10 billion."

  • rationaloptimism by rationaloptimism Apr 25, 2016 10:18 AM Flag

    To protect big pharma, they tried to make Valeant and Shkrelli the fall guys.

    As if high drug prices in the U.S. are the result of "bad apples" like Shkrelli, instead of a deliberate overcharging of the American people.

    This misdirection is not working.

    Trump, Clinton, and Sanders won't shut up about high drug prices. They didn't get the memo to just blame Shkrelli.

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