Dietary supplements: the free market vs. the FDA

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shanek
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Post by shanek » Tue Jun 22, 2004 6:08 pm

MRC_Hans wrote:Seals of approval may work for utensils and such, where the danger is limited, but it is not enough for pharmaceuticals. It is not just a question of whether a drug works, but also of right drug in the right dose for the right disease.
Isn't that what doctors are for? You also left out, "for the right person." Everyone is different biochemically. That's why we need doctors to examine people and determine what medicine is best for them.
Unfortunately, the claims of the manufacturers are not trutful.
Evidence? That is a very serious charge of fraud you're making there.
I agree that the manufacturers should pay for the tests (is't that what you were just protesting against??),
Not at all. Manufacturers pay for the testing to get UL certification, for example. I object to the government forcing them into an inefficient system which steals their money and stifles innovation.
but there must be an independent entity that ensures that they conduct the tests properly and report them in a thruthful way.
You mean, like UL?
The FDA is actually favoring the industry, but not in the way you probably think ;).
Then explain how they're favoring the industry.
This is a very naive notion.
No, it's the truth. History has bourne this out.
Absolutely not. The drug industry loves the FDA, because it provides a very effective barrier to cheap suppliers from low-wage areas. And it makes it extremely profitable to market drugs.
Then why do the drug manufacturers keep going for that one blockbuster drug to make back all the money they LOSE getting their other drugs to market?
The claim of anything crippling the drug industry is ridiculous in itself, since the industry is obviously not crippled, quite the opposite; it is one of the most profitable industries in existence.
Evidence?
There is absolutely no comparison between the simple, essentially unenforced requirements of the eletrical industry,
You've just shown your entire ignorance of the electrical industry.
All it requires to get an UL stamp is that you declare that you follow some simple rules. There in no control, no requirements for quality control, no nothing.
That is absolutely not true. Go to www.ul.com and learn how it works. You actually submit your product to a UL-certified lab for testing, the process for which varies depending on the type of product you're seeking certification for. They are tested according to specific specifications and are rejected if they don't meet the standards. YOU ARE COMPLETELY WRONG.
The ten years is what it takes to comply with the LAWS that regulate the industry.
Which is what we're discussing. Do try and keep up. The FDA is the body that oversees implementation of those regulations.
There is something very fishy about this account. You say that there is this currently incurable disease and there is this new drug that has a fantastic effect. Why exactly is it a problem to show that experimentally? That should be a breeze to do.


Because, like I said, they would have to do several studies to try and find out HOW to tell if the drug had been successful in curing liver disease. It isn't enough just to test for safety; they make you test for efficacy, too, so a brand new drug made for a brand new purpose with no precedent whatsoever is going to be very difficult to get past these regulations on efficacy.

It may be a great speech, but is it credible?


As credible as anything else anyone has posted in this thread, if not moreso. We're talking about a highly respected scientist with something like 35 years of experience.
There is an old android saying. In binary it reads: 01001001001001110110110100100000011011100110111101110100001
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Earthborn
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Post by Earthborn » Wed Jun 23, 2004 5:51 am

It must not like Mozilla or Linux, 'cause I'm not getting a thing.
Oh, dear. Here is a synopsis. Read carefully now!
It is when it's your only rebuttal to other authorities on the subject.
It is not a fallacy, because I am not saying it proves you wrong. It just shows that apperently the experts on the subject disagree with eachother: some think the FDA is too much influenced by the drug industry, some think the FDA is hurting the drug industry and others say the FDA manages to a reasonably good job despite being attacked from all sides.

Now who are we going to believe? We can of course simply assume that those who support our world view are right. But that doesn't bring us closer to the truth, it will only cause us to be more sure of our own opinions. We can also remain skeptical of all of them, and believe that the truth must be somewhere between all these expert opinions.
Bogus statistics.
Maybe so? Did you notice that it is a website of an organization that advocates free market reform? I am sure you might have used the site once in a while to support your views.
They don't take into account things like, accidental death due to the fact that so many people in the US drive cars, more than any other country, so we have more deaths due to traffic accidents that drop the total; we have a lot of smokers, etc. There are many factors outside of quality of health care that could explain this that aren't accounted for there.
I was also pointing to the much larger healthcare costs in the US:
the left chart shows the U.S. spends 14.2% of its economy on healthcare compared to 7.8% average in other nations,

although most others provide health care to all citizens.
The US government pays more for healthcare than many other governments, but those other governments finance their healthcare system largely on their own and provide care for everyone, the US spends an even greater sum on private healthcare. At least according to these advocates of the free market.

Still, the care provided is pretty much the same.
Everyone I've talked to who works in the industry feels that way. Maybe the politically-connected ones don't...
Or maybe the ones that aren't politically connected to the libertarian party do. As the huy in the article said, the FDA is in a peculiar business: whatever it does, there will always be people complaining and saying that people are dying because of it.
Oh, come on! What the fark do you think Good Housekeeping, Consumer Reports, and those kinds of magazines DO???? ALL THE TIME!!!
I have no idea. If you say that they do this sort of thing all the time, please provide one example where any of the organizations compared the efficacy of several medications with eachother. Only one will disprove the article's claim.
She's not a politician. She worked in pharmaceutical research for something like 35 years. She's an expert in the field.
Yes, but she's not the only expert, and other experts are saying the opposite. Also, I assume she never worked for the FDA, so she's not an expert on the FDA as much as people who did work there.

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MRC_Hans
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Post by MRC_Hans » Wed Jun 23, 2004 6:53 am

shanek wrote:
MRC_Hans wrote:Seals of approval may work for utensils and such, where the danger is limited, but it is not enough for pharmaceuticals. It is not just a question of whether a drug works, but also of right drug in the right dose for the right disease.
Isn't that what doctors are for? You also left out, "for the right person." Everyone is different biochemically. That's why we need doctors to examine people and determine what medicine is best for them.

Certainy. For the right person. But those doctors need reliable information about the drugs, they can't figure it all out on their own.
Unfortunately, the claims of the manufacturers are not trutful.
Evidence? That is a very serious charge of fraud you're making there.

Not as serious as the one you are levelling at your government and the FDA. But I'll amend it: The claims of the manufacturers are NOT ALWAYS truthful. Don't you read papers? Several instances have been disclosed of manufacturers not publishing all the results from tests. They tend to "forget" negative results, or they publish rosy conclusions that have little basis in the actual results (which you need to be a specialist to interpret).
I agree that the manufacturers should pay for the tests (is't that what you were just protesting against??),
Not at all. Manufacturers pay for the testing to get UL certification, for example. I object to the government forcing them into an inefficient system which steals their money and stifles innovation.

Why do you think the government would want to do that? I mean, there must be some motivation?
but there must be an independent entity that ensures that they conduct the tests properly and report them in a thruthful way.
You mean, like UL?

It could be a commercial entity, although more complex than the UL, but what exactly makes you think they would do better (especially enforcing the same laws)?
The FDA is actually favoring the industry, but not in the way you probably think ;).
Then explain how they're favoring the industry.

By raising the bar and keeping out competition.
This is a very naive notion.
No, it's the truth. History has bourne this out.
Absolutely not. The drug industry loves the FDA, because it provides a very effective barrier to cheap suppliers from low-wage areas. And it makes it extremely profitable to market drugs.
Then why do the drug manufacturers keep going for that one blockbuster drug to make back all the money they LOSE getting their other drugs to market?

They don't. Why should they market drugs they loose money on? Of course there are ups and downs, but overall, the pharmaceutical market is very profitable. Indeed some companies are quite happy to churn out cheap, non-patented OTC drugs, and make a fine living doing that.
The claim of anything crippling the drug industry is ridiculous in itself, since the industry is obviously not crippled, quite the opposite; it is one of the most profitable industries in existence.
Evidence?

Read a few stock market reports, for crying out loud. Or go to a large industrial city and find the largest, newest factory with the largest employee parking lot. Chances are it is a pharmaceutical company.
There is absolutely no comparison between the simple, essentially unenforced requirements of the eletrical industry,
You've just shown your entire ignorance of the electrical industry.

That saddens me to no end, since I am an electrical engineer and have been for 35 years :roll:.
All it requires to get an UL stamp is that you declare that you follow some simple rules. There in no control, no requirements for quality control, no nothing.
That is absolutely not true. Go to www.ul.com and learn how it works. You actually submit your product to a UL-certified lab for testing, the process for which varies depending on the type of product you're seeking certification for. They are tested according to specific specifications and are rejected if they don't meet the standards. YOU ARE COMPLETELY WRONG.

In the US, they may do that, but here I can just file a declaration. And export to the USA ;). They won't show up at my factory gate and demand to audit my quality control system. But the FDA will, if I export drugs to the USA.
The ten years is what it takes to comply with the LAWS that regulate the industry.
Which is what we're discussing. Do try and keep up. The FDA is the body that oversees implementation of those regulations.

No, you claim it is the bureaucracy that takes the time, and that is wrong. It is the research and testing to comply with the laws that takes 10 years (or so). We can discuss those laws if you will, but then the FDA is irrelevant, being only the overseer (how many e's does that word take?).
There is something very fishy about this account. You say that there is this currently incurable disease and there is this new drug that has a fantastic effect. Why exactly is it a problem to show that experimentally? That should be a breeze to do.


Because, like I said, they would have to do several studies to try and find out HOW to tell if the drug had been successful in curing liver disease. It isn't enough just to test for safety; they make you test for efficacy, too, so a brand new drug made for a brand new purpose with no precedent whatsoever is going to be very difficult to get past these regulations on efficacy.

That is the fishy part. How can it be difficult to find out if patients get better? Especially in the case of liver diseases, which usually have quite evident symptoms?

It may be a great speech, but is it credible?


As credible as anything else anyone has posted in this thread, if not moreso. We're talking about a highly respected scientist with something like 35 years of experience.

I have 35 years of experience, too ;)


Hans
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CHARLEY_BIGTIME

Post by CHARLEY_BIGTIME » Wed Jun 23, 2004 8:35 am

shanek wrote:
MRC_Hans wrote:Seals of approval may work for utensils and such, where the danger is limited, but it is not enough for pharmaceuticals. It is not just a question of whether a drug works, but also of right drug in the right dose for the right disease.
Isn't that what doctors are for? You also left out, "for the right person." Everyone is different biochemically. That's why we need doctors to examine people and determine what medicine is best for them.
Unfortunately, the claims of the manufacturers are not trutful.
Evidence? That is a very serious charge of fraud you're making there.
I agree that the manufacturers should pay for the tests (is't that what you were just protesting against??),
Not at all. Manufacturers pay for the testing to get UL certification, for example. I object to the government forcing them into an inefficient system which steals their money and stifles innovation.
but there must be an independent entity that ensures that they conduct the tests properly and report them in a thruthful way.
You mean, like UL?
The FDA is actually favoring the industry, but not in the way you probably think ;).
Then explain how they're favoring the industry.
This is a very naive notion.
No, it's the truth. History has bourne this out.
Absolutely not. The drug industry loves the FDA, because it provides a very effective barrier to cheap suppliers from low-wage areas. And it makes it extremely profitable to market drugs.
Then why do the drug manufacturers keep going for that one blockbuster drug to make back all the money they LOSE getting their other drugs to market?
The claim of anything crippling the drug industry is ridiculous in itself, since the industry is obviously not crippled, quite the opposite; it is one of the most profitable industries in existence.
Evidence?
There is absolutely no comparison between the simple, essentially unenforced requirements of the eletrical industry,
You've just shown your entire ignorance of the electrical industry.
All it requires to get an UL stamp is that you declare that you follow some simple rules. There in no control, no requirements for quality control, no nothing.
That is absolutely not true. Go to www.ul.com and learn how it works. You actually submit your product to a UL-certified lab for testing, the process for which varies depending on the type of product you're seeking certification for. They are tested according to specific specifications and are rejected if they don't meet the standards. YOU ARE COMPLETELY WRONG.
The ten years is what it takes to comply with the LAWS that regulate the industry.
Which is what we're discussing. Do try and keep up. The FDA is the body that oversees implementation of those regulations.
There is something very fishy about this account. You say that there is this currently incurable disease and there is this new drug that has a fantastic effect. Why exactly is it a problem to show that experimentally? That should be a breeze to do.


Because, like I said, they would have to do several studies to try and find out HOW to tell if the drug had been successful in curing liver disease. It isn't enough just to test for safety; they make you test for efficacy, too, so a brand new drug made for a brand new purpose with no precedent whatsoever is going to be very difficult to get past these regulations on efficacy.

It may be a great speech, but is it credible?


As credible as anything else anyone has posted in this thread, if not moreso. We're talking about a highly respected scientist with something like 35 years of experience.


Oh goddddddddd. It's started again.........

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shanek
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Post by shanek » Wed Jun 23, 2004 1:27 pm

Earthborn wrote:Now who are we going to believe? We can of course simply assume that those who support our world view are right. But that doesn't bring us closer to the truth, it will only cause us to be more sure of our own opinions. We can also remain skeptical of all of them, and believe that the truth must be somewhere between all these expert opinions.
Or we can (gasp!) look at the facts and draw our own conclusions!
Maybe so? Did you notice that it is a website of an organization that advocates free market reform?
Yes. Does that mean they're always right?

And a lot of things they did say were right: life expectancy is rising, and many other nations do have a longer life expectancy than us. It's the assuption that this is solely do to the health care system, when, as I pointed out, there are many other possible factors involved.
I was also pointing to the much larger healthcare costs in the US:
A lot of that has to do with the fact that we have very few if any across-the-board price caps like other nations do. That means that in the more unregulated areas the companies have to make back the amount they lose providing health care to those covered by Medicare, for example.

Also, a lot of those are bogus, too, in that they fail to take into account more complex trends. For example, people say that drugs in Canada are much cheaper. That's only true of brand name drugs, and again it's due to the price caps. The price Canadians pay for that is in a much higher price for generic drugs. The companies have to make the money back somehow.

Also also, it doesn't take into account effects similar to the ones I mentioned before; things like, the fact that more Americans drive cars means that more Americans get into traffic accidents and need health care services who wouldn't before.

That's why cross-cultural comparisons are really, really tricky.
Or maybe the ones that aren't politically connected to the libertarian party do.
Again, show how Goldberg is connected to the Libertarian Party.
I have no idea. If you say that they do this sort of thing all the time, please provide one example where any of the organizations compared the efficacy of several medications with eachother.
Note: I said "in other areas." And pretty much any issue will do this. For example, here's their article comparing child safety products, and they tell you both the best and the worst. Not good enough? Want something healthcare related? Okay, here's a Consumer Reports study comparing blood pressure monitors and rating them in comparison with each other.

Happens all the time.
Also, I assume she never worked for the FDA,
She worked with the FDA, many, many times. She understands very well the procedures and has first-hand knowledge of what pharmaceutical companies have to go through to get their products FDA-approved.
Last edited by shanek on Wed Jun 23, 2004 1:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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shanek
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Post by shanek » Wed Jun 23, 2004 1:41 pm

MRC_Hans wrote:Certainy. For the right person. But those doctors need reliable information about the drugs, they can't figure it all out on their own.
Then I'm sure you're aware that doctors get a lot of good information from the manufacturer, from independent studies, and from brainshare with other medical practicioners. None of this would be impeded by the free market; just the opposite, in fact. Often doctors will prescribe medicine for things other than the FDA tested them for. My son's clonodine, for example, was tested and approved as a blood pressure medication; but although he has no problems with his blood pressure, it has been completely effective in totally relieving him of the problems with his massive sleeping disorder. His doctor didn't figure that out by going to the FDA.
Not as serious as the one you are levelling at your government and the FDA.
I posted evidence for mine. BTW, no one answered the question: in the entire history of the FDA, with all the drugs that were recalled, how many were forceably recalled by the FDA as opposed to being voluntarily recalled by the manufacturer?
Why do you think the government would want to do that? I mean, there must be some motivation?
It's how government works. Government is force. It's inevitable. Why would government stop me from having a gutter on the side of my house? It's just how government operates.
It could be a commercial entity, although more complex than the UL, but what exactly makes you think they would do better (especially enforcing the same laws)?
Because they would have an incentive to be efficient and accurate, incentives no government entity has.
By raising the bar and keeping out competition.
That's favoring particular corporations, not the industry as a whole. Competition favors the industry. Besides, are you saying that stifling competition is a good thing?
They don't.
Yes, they do. They absolutely do. You're just denying reality now.
Why should they market drugs they loose money on?
Because it helps build their reputation, which is very important. They just need to make enough money with the drugs that are profitable.
Of course there are ups and downs, but overall, the pharmaceutical market is very profitable. Indeed some companies are quite happy to churn out cheap, non-patented OTC drugs, and make a fine living doing that.
That's hardly a way to have innovation, though.
Read a few stock market reports, for crying out loud.
You're showing ignorance of the market again. Stock values have little to do with profit/loss.
Or go to a large industrial city and find the largest, newest factory with the largest employee parking lot. Chances are it is a pharmaceutical company.
Large and new does not mean hugely profitable.
That saddens me to no end, since I am an electrical engineer and have been for 35 years :roll:.
With apparently no experience at all with UL. Unless you can tell me which devices you've patented and had UL-approved? Besides, a cursory look through UL's website shows how wrong you are.
In the US, they may do that, but here I can just file a declaration.
Evidence? According to UL's website, it's the same standard everywhere. Are you saying UL's website is lying?
No, you claim it is the bureaucracy that takes the time,
Same thing. The bureaucracy is what you go through to prove compliance.
That is the fishy part. How can it be difficult to find out if patients get better? Especially in the case of liver diseases, which usually have quite evident symptoms?
Because there's no real way to tell how much of that is statistically significant when compared to the placebo-controlled group. What if 2% more get better? Or 5%? How much better do they need to do to prove efficacy? There was just no way to tell without doing massive studies to find out.
I have 35 years of experience, too ;)
As a pharmaceutical research scientist?
There is an old android saying. In binary it reads: 01001001001001110110110100100000011011100110111101110100001
00000011101110110010101100001011100100110100101101110011001
1100100000011100000110000101101110011101000111001100100001. Makes you think, huh?

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Post by Earthborn » Wed Jun 23, 2004 3:31 pm

Or we can (gasp!) look at the facts and draw our own conclusions!
As I already said, that doesn't bring us closer to the truth, it only makes us more sure of our own opinions.
A lot of that has to do with the fact that we have very few if any across-the-board price caps like other nations do.
Indeed.
The price Canadians pay for that is in a much higher price for generic drugs.
I didn't know that. Care to support it with a link?
That's why cross-cultural comparisons are really, really tricky.
Perhaps you have a better idea how to figure out which healthcare system functions best?

(I'm rather skeptical about your claim that Americans drive more cars and that would cause more traffic accidents, because see an awfull lot of cars around here. But let's not get into that.)
Again, show how Goldberg is connected to the Libertarian Party.
A little google search suggests that he isn't. Apperently he describes himself as a conservative. He does however write articles about healthcare with rather emotive language. And he is also a member of an organization that lobbies for free market reform of the US healthcare system.

Not a libertarian, but still an ideologue with a clear political mission.
Note: I said "in other areas."
I'm fairly sure you didn't.

If you can't come up with an example, you can't disprove the articles claim that only the government can do such a thing. The examples you give are not sufficient because they involve only material tests, not human tests. (I assume because once again, you provide a link to a website that requires payment! How you pay for all those subscriptions is a mystery to me.)

Large scale human tests are something entirely different than testing products for a limited number of material properties. Since you can't provide even a single example of similar research done by free market researchers, I still consider the article's claim as reasonable.
She understands very well the procedures and has first-hand knowledge of what pharmaceutical companies have to go through to get their products FDA-approved.
And people who have worked there might even know them better. So if apparent experts disagree with eachother, who are we supposed to believe?

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Post by MRC_Hans » Wed Jun 23, 2004 9:03 pm

shanek wrote:
MRC_Hans wrote:Certainy. For the right person. But those doctors need reliable information about the drugs, they can't figure it all out on their own.
Then I'm sure you're aware that doctors get a lot of good information from the manufacturer, from independent studies, and from brainshare with other medical practicioners. None of this would be impeded by the free market; just the opposite, in fact. Often doctors will prescribe medicine for things other than the FDA tested them for. My son's clonodine, for example, was tested and approved as a blood pressure medication; but although he has no problems with his blood pressure, it has been completely effective in totally relieving him of the problems with his massive sleeping disorder. His doctor didn't figure that out by going to the FDA.

Yeah, we even have example of pharmaceutical companies effectively bribing doctors to use their products.

Sure, in principle a doctor has the right to prescribe ANYTHING to a pationt for ANY ailment. But how is that relevant to this discussion?.

Not as serious as the one you are levelling at your government and the FDA.
I posted evidence for mine. BTW, no one answered the question: in the entire history of the FDA, with all the drugs that were recalled, how many were forceably recalled by the FDA as opposed to being voluntarily recalled by the manufacturer?

Yes, I answered the question. Most are recalled by the companies, in deference to FDA regulations and because it is damn expensive if the FDA moves to seisure of your product.
Why do you think the government would want to do that? I mean, there must be some motivation?
It's how government works. Government is force. It's inevitable. Why would government stop me from having a gutter on the side of my house? It's just how government operates.

Well your personal distrust of governments are not much use.
It could be a commercial entity, although more complex than the UL, but what exactly makes you think they would do better (especially enforcing the same laws)?
Because they would have an incentive to be efficient and accurate, incentives no government entity has.

Efficiency is not the same as reliability. An organisation that has to fend for its economy in competition may be effective, but it can be bought.
By raising the bar and keeping out competition.
That's favoring particular corporations, not the industry as a whole. Competition favors the industry. Besides, are you saying that stifling competition is a good thing?

For some it is. But that is not the point; the point is that you claim it is crippling the industry.
They don't.
Yes, they do. They absolutely do. You're just denying reality now.

I fail to remember what this was about ;).
Why should they market drugs they loose money on?
Because it helps build their reputation, which is very important. They just need to make enough money with the drugs that are profitable.

There are such things as place-holders in a market, but rest assured that drug companies do not touch something that is not profitable in the big picture.
Of course there are ups and downs, but overall, the pharmaceutical market is very profitable. Indeed some companies are quite happy to churn out cheap, non-patented OTC drugs, and make a fine living doing that.
That's hardly a way to have innovation, though.

That is not the point. The point is that you claim that companies live off block-buster drugs, and I refute that.
Read a few stock market reports, for crying out loud.
You're showing ignorance of the market again. Stock values have little to do with profit/loss.

Interesting notion. I will discourage you from trying to make a profit in the stock market with that attitude. :roll:
Or go to a large industrial city and find the largest, newest factory with the largest employee parking lot. Chances are it is a pharmaceutical company.
Large and new does not mean hugely profitable.

Of course not, but most pharma companies are.
That saddens me to no end, since I am an electrical engineer and have been for 35 years :roll:.
With apparently no experience at all with UL. Unless you can tell me which devices you've patented and had UL-approved? Besides, a cursory look through UL's website shows how wrong you are.

Ahh, you may have a point here. For consumer devices, you are right. I have only worked with laboratory and medical instruments. For which the rules for some reason are more permissive.

However, that is not he point. The point is that UL requirements are simple rules that can be verified by examining a few specimens of your product. The health sector regulations involve your research and development, production, marketing, labelling, reporting system, quality organisation, etc. It is immensemy more complicated.



That is the fishy part. How can it be difficult to find out if patients get better? Especially in the case of liver diseases, which usually have quite evident symptoms?
Because there's no real way to tell how much of that is statistically significant when compared to the placebo-controlled group. What if 2% more get better? Or 5%? How much better do they need to do to prove efficacy? There was just no way to tell without doing massive studies to find out.

Even if you are unfamiliar with medical testing methodology, you should be able to spot the lack of logic here. 2-5% effect for an alleged wonder drug? Come on, that is hardly worth starting production for. However, 2-5% can be verified using standard procedures. It just requires rather large test groups. And just how bit is not difficult to find out, it is basic textbook stuff, which any capable statistician can tell you.
I have 35 years of experience, too ;)
As a pharmaceutical research scientist?

Nah, my time in the medical industry is only about half of that.
Hans
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Post by shanek » Wed Jun 23, 2004 10:39 pm

[quote="Earthborn"As I already said, that doesn't bring us closer to the truth, it only makes us more sure of our own opinions.[/quote]

Well, sure, if you want to throw every principle of skepticism out the window... :roll:
The price Canadians pay for that is in a much higher price for generic drugs.
I didn't know that. Care to support it with a link?
Sure. Would you accept the FDA as a reliable source? ;)

http://www.fda.gov/oc/whitepapers/drugprices.html
Perhaps you have a better idea how to figure out which healthcare system functions best?
I have an idea how to figure out how well regulations work: compare the system before the regulations to the system after the regulations. At least in the case of the US, that comes down solidly on the side of the free market. We didn't have any of the major problems with health care today back before the 1960s when government started overregulating the market.
(I'm rather skeptical about your claim that Americans drive more cars and that would cause more traffic accidents, because see an awfull lot of cars around here. But let's not get into that.)
Well, if you ever feel like looking into that, look at the NHTSA's Traffic Safety Facts 2001. We are driving much, much more in terms of miles driven to available road miles.
Not a libertarian, but still an ideologue with a clear political mission.
Uh-huh. And again, it couldn't be that he reached this conclusion because of the facts, right? The ideology had to be precedent, coloring his conclusions, right? Give me a break...You'll find an excuse to ignore anyone you don't like. This is the problem with argument by authority.
If you can't come up with an example,
I've got magazines full of examples. You're just trying to shift the focus here. In practically every other industry these studies are available. Now, you're dishonestly trying to hone in on the drug industry when you KNOW that the regulations sap out so much of the money it makes studies like these practically impossible. But I don't HAVE to give you an example of them doing it with drugs specifically; I just have to give you examples of them doing this, period. And I've got zillions of 'em.
The examples you give are not sufficient because they involve only material tests, not human tests.
Huh? The blood pressure monitor studies used human test subjects.
(I assume because once again, you provide a link to a website that requires payment!
[sigh] Yes, you need to actually (gasp!) subscribe to Consumer Reports to read it! That's how magazines work! Duh....
Large scale human tests are something entirely different than testing products for a limited number of material properties. Since you can't provide even a single example of similar research done by free market researchers, I still consider the article's claim as reasonable.
Sure, when you can cook up excuses to ignore the facts, you can conclude whatever you like.
And people who have worked there might even know them better. So if apparent experts disagree with eachother, who are we supposed to believe?
Um, maybe the one with the best evidence, that best agrees with the facts? Maybe? Ya think?
There is an old android saying. In binary it reads: 01001001001001110110110100100000011011100110111101110100001
00000011101110110010101100001011100100110100101101110011001
1100100000011100000110000101101110011101000111001100100001. Makes you think, huh?

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Post by Skeeve » Wed Jun 23, 2004 10:51 pm

shanek wrote: At least in the case of the US, that comes down solidly on the side of the free market. We didn't have any of the major problems with health care today back before the 1960s when government started overregulating the market.


Come along without,
Come along within,
You won't see nothin' like the mighty Quinn

...
But when Quinn the Eskimo get you in
Everybody's going to want a dose!

Yessiree, yowsa, yowsa, yowsa, step right up, step right up Ladies and Gentlemen, get Doctor Quack's new Hair Tonic and Cancer Remover, right here, right now, step right up, be the first, that's right sir, only ten dollars the bottle, and guaranteed to be good for what ails you. It's got radium, folks, it's got radium, the natural power source of nature itself, yowsa, it's got radium, the miracle metal that glows in the dark, straight from Madame Curie to you, it will energize, it will heal what ails you, and it will help you keep madam happy by your side, Yowsa, Yowsa, Yowsa, step right up!

Shanek, are you sure about how it all worked before all of this "overregulation"?
Then Skank Of America could start in...

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Post by shanek » Wed Jun 23, 2004 10:51 pm

MRC_Hans wrote:Sure, in principle a doctor has the right to prescribe ANYTHING to a pationt for ANY ailment. But how is that relevant to this discussion?.
It's relevant to rebutting your point that "But those doctors need reliable information about the drugs, they can't figure it all out on their own." Doctors actually do this all the time, using the free market tools I mentioned.
Yes, I answered the question. Most are recalled by the companies, in deference to FDA regulations and because it is damn expensive if the FDA moves to seisure of your product.
That's not answering the question. How many were recalled by the FDA?

And they're not done "in deference to FDA regulations," because the FDA already approved them! So unless the FDA acts to recall it themselves, there's nothing that can happen to you. And even if they do, it's not really any more expensive than recalling the product on your own.
Well your personal distrust of governments are not much use.
I have the entire history of government regulation backing me up on this. Your steadfast denial is what is not of much use.
Efficiency is not the same as reliability. An organisation that has to fend for its economy in competition may be effective, but it can be bought.
That's bullshit. If they're bought, they're not effective, because their findings are suspect, and there goes their reputation down the toilet.
For some it is. But that is not the point; the point is that you claim it is crippling the industry.
And it is. Stifling competition and increasing costs is crippling the industry.
I fail to remember what this was about ;).
How convenient...We're talking about drug companies using the profits from some drugs to make up for losses they incur selling others.
There are such things as place-holders in a market, but rest assured that drug companies do not touch something that is not profitable in the big picture.
Evidence?

Your denial is really astounding. This happens all over the free market. Right now, many gas stations are selling their gas at a loss hoping you'll stop there for gas and come inside and buy their groceries, for example. Selling at a loss in one area can reap higher profits in others, especially in an area like pharmaceuticals where reputation is important. Selling at a loss also helps increase cash flow, since the products being sold at a loss tend to sell more often, making for a more stable budget. There are all sorts of reasons to do this.
That is not the point.
That is exactly the point.
Interesting notion. I will discourage you from trying to make a profit in the stock market with that attitude. :roll:
Go learn how corporate budgets work and then come back.
Of course not, but most pharma companies are.
Circular reasoning. You can tell they're profitable because they have nice facilities, and they have nice facilities because they're profitable.
The point is that UL requirements are simple rules that can be verified by examining a few specimens of your product.
And aside from the question of scale, how is it any different testing pharmacological products?
Even if you are unfamiliar with medical testing methodology, you should be able to spot the lack of logic here. 2-5% effect for an alleged wonder drug? Come on, that is hardly worth starting production for.
Depends on the drug, and depends on the disease. Many AIDS medications have exactly that level of efficacy.
However, 2-5% can be verified using standard procedures.
But how can you tell if that level is enough to prove efficacy?
There is an old android saying. In binary it reads: 01001001001001110110110100100000011011100110111101110100001
00000011101110110010101100001011100100110100101101110011001
1100100000011100000110000101101110011101000111001100100001. Makes you think, huh?

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Post by shanek » Wed Jun 23, 2004 10:55 pm

Skeeve wrote:Shanek, are you sure about how it all worked before all of this "overregulation"?
Well, let's see...before the 1960s we DIDN'T have the quack medical remedies people say would be everywhere, at least not any more than we do now. Medical insurance for a family of four was about the price of a power bill, and covered pretty much everything, with no preexisting conditions or "managed care." The poor were easily taken care of by free clinics and charity hospitals, which now have all but vanished thanks to the enormous regulatory burden placed on them. Innovations in drugs, devicies, facilities, and procedures were being made at a much higher rate. Cures for previously untreatable diseases were being found left and right. Our lifespan increased dramatically. People became more health-conscious. Doctors even made house calls.

So, uh, how was this all worse?
There is an old android saying. In binary it reads: 01001001001001110110110100100000011011100110111101110100001
00000011101110110010101100001011100100110100101101110011001
1100100000011100000110000101101110011101000111001100100001. Makes you think, huh?

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Post by Skeeve » Wed Jun 23, 2004 11:17 pm

shanek wrote:
Skeeve wrote:Shanek, are you sure about how it all worked before all of this "overregulation"?
Well, let's see...before the 1960s we DIDN'T have the quack medical remedies people say would be everywhere, at least not any more than we do now.
My dear Shanek, we had regulation before the 1960's. The entire "pure food and drug" act was a reaction to the quack remedies of the late 1800's and early 1900's that was killing people off right and left. Now, I agree that "The Road to Wellville" is fictitious, it's not all that far off the mark, really, if you read up on some of the old cures, cure factories, and the like.

Medical insurance for a family of four was about the price of a power bill, and covered pretty much everything, with no preexisting conditions or "managed care."
Quite so, and we couldn't reattach a finger, do a bypass, resect complex tumors, observe many conditions at all with the primitive x-rays and blood tests, or do much of anything about diseases like arthritis once acetylsalicilic acid stopped working, for example, either.

We certainly paid less, and we got a lot less.

The poor were easily taken care of by free clinics and charity hospitals, which now have all but vanished thanks to the enormous regulatory burden placed on them.
That's quite a remarkable thing to say, I very much recall people in the 1950's and 1960's sighing and saying "too bad, if he could have only afforded that operation". I remember people who were injured at work, who could not get operations to pay for their injuries, who became unemployable, because their insurance wouldn't cover medical procedures unless they were working, and they couldn't work because of the accident that caused the injury, so they weren't working, so they couldn't get the operation to save their livelihood. You do know that scene from "October Skies" is not just made up out of nothing, don't you?

Life was a lot less precious back then, yes, because it was a lot less certain. When most anything happened in 1960, you died, and that was it. Certainly, dying wasn't regulated back then.

Innovations in drugs, devicies, facilities, and procedures were being made at a much higher rate.
Now let's see about that. What did we have for arthritis? Aspirin, something discovered before World War 2. Antibiotics? Well, we had sulfa, penicillin, and some primitive, really dangerous mycins and cyclines, most of which are banned for human internal use now. The rest of them are mostly useless because of the overuse through the 1950's and 1960's as miracle drugs.

How did we treat ulcers, well, we let people die, basically. "He's got an ulcer" was the end.

How about cancer? We cut the parts we could find out, and then hoped. We didn't have any blood tests to see if there was any hanging out, we couldn't trace cancer to other parts of the body, no immunological assays, no radioisotope tracers, no MRI, no cat scans, no PSA, just wait and pray.

How can you possibly say we were inventing things at the rate that we are today? I wonder, do you have numbers to back this up? Hey, I may be slow, but I'm not that slow, skeptics ask for evidences! Carlos says so!

Cures for previously untreatable diseases were being found left and right.
We caught the easy pickings early one, started vaccination programs, used primitive antibiotics for easily treated bacterial diseases, and thought it was a miracle.

Now, we take those miracles for granted, because we can do much greater miracles, miracles that nobody even knew would exist in 1990. I suppose, you say, that since the progress was faster earlier, well, they must have been made sooner, but how come nobody knew about them, including the inventors, anyhow?

Our lifespan increased dramatically. People became more health-conscious. Doctors even made house calls.
Doctors made house calls in 1900.

Nowdays we have the technology to get the sick people to the doctor, then we didn't, moving the sick person could kill them from the travel. So, then, house calls are a good thing, you're saying?

Now, in 2000, what do we die of? Mostly of catastrophic cancer, catastrophic infections, catastrophic trauma, or of just wearing out. We have more people than ever now sick, because they're just worn out. They get there because nothing got them before that. That's a result of everything from the 1960's to last week, and that's the primary reason that medical care is getting so expensive, now we're trying to fix the stuff that's just worn out. I'm not objecting, I'm mostly worn out myself, but that's why medicine is getting so expensive, well, that, and unregulated lawsuits for atrocious damages. Perhaps if those lawsuits were regulated, we wouldn't pay so much to insurance companies.

So, uh, how was this all worse?
Well, let's see, if it was 1960 right now, I'd be dead.
Then Skank Of America could start in...

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Post by shanek » Thu Jun 24, 2004 12:58 am

Skeeve wrote:My dear Shanek, we had regulation before the 1960's.
Not anything near like what we have today. The FDA only tested drugs for safety, not efficacy; a much more sensible policy. There was no welfare, no Medicare or Medicaid, none of the reporting regulations we have today, etc.
The entire "pure food and drug" act was a reaction to the quack remedies of the late 1800's and early 1900's that was killing people off right and left.
Of course, at that time science had not yet progressed to the point where the full system of the double-blind pacebo-controlled test was availbale. In fact, that developed in large part from that very effect.
Quite so, and we couldn't reattach a finger, do a bypass, resect complex tumors, blah blah blah
Total bogosity. Medical technology, like other technologies, always improves. But it improves at a faster rate without regulaitons. Look at the boon in the almost-completely-unregulated computer industry, for example. You're just saying we've progressed; that says nothing about the rate we've progressed compared to the rate we progressed before.

(And spare me the claptrap about computers being new. They've been around for hundreds of years.)
We certainly paid less, and we got a lot less.
Technological advances mean we pay less and get more over time. So why is that happening with computers but not with medical technology?
That's quite a remarkable thing to say, I very much recall people in the 1950's and 1960's sighing and saying "too bad, if he could have only afforded that operation". I remember people who were injured at work, who could not get operations to pay for their injuries, who became unemployable, because their insurance wouldn't cover medical procedures unless they were working, and they couldn't work because of the accident that caused the injury, so they weren't working, so they couldn't get the operation to save their livelihood. You do know that scene from "October Skies" is not just made up out of nothing, don't you?
You seem to place a lot of importance on what you "remember" as opposed to what the statistics actually say...

And pretty much everything you said about drugs is DEAD WRONG. And also a repeat of your technology-progression fallacy above.
How can you possibly say we were inventing things at the rate that we are today?
Because we WERE. The stats prove it.

For example, here's some stats on our life expectancy:

http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/pdf/nvsr51_03t11.pdf

Note that, from 1900 to 1960, our life expectancy rose by 20.65 years, or about 3.44 years per decade. From 1960 to 2000, life expectancy rose by 7.01 years, or only about 1.75 years per decade. About half what it was.
We caught the easy pickings early one,
Oh, beautiful. So why is it, in every other field, advances increase exponentially? Don't they also get the "easy pickings" first? Geez...
Now, we take those miracles for granted, because we can do much greater miracles, miracles that nobody even knew would exist in 1990. I suppose, you say, that since the progress was faster earlier, well, they must have been made sooner, but how come nobody knew about them, including the inventors, anyhow?
More of your bogosity. No one can predict the future. NOTHING you have shown says that we're proceeding at anything like the rate we were before. You're just saying, "Oh, we didn't have x and y then, only z!" But that proves NOTHING.
Doctors made house calls in 1900.
Doctors made house calls in 1960, too,
Nowdays we have the technology to get the sick people to the doctor,
Not always. Or aren't you familiar with services such as hospice, which have to survive on the generous donations of individuals and are very tough to operate what with all the regulations surrounding it? This kind of thing happened routinely before.

Have you ever considered the fact that all of this technology that allows them to move people more safely came out of necessity because of the difficulties of getting the doctor to them due to all of these regulations?
So, then, house calls are a good thing, you're saying?
Yes, they are. And many, many people still need them today.
Now, in 2000, what do we die of?
Uh, it's 2004 now, actually, and the biggest cause of death is still heart disease. Pneumonia is still #6. And doctors STILL avoid moving pations if they can. According to the CDC.
Mostly of catastrophic cancer, catastrophic infections, catastrophic trauma, or of just wearing out.
Funny, I don't see a line item in the CDC report for "just wearing out"...I see neoplasms, pulmonary diseases, liver disease, atherosclerosis...but no "just wearing out." I don't even see anything related like "exhaustion" or "natural causes" in the top ten. See for yourself:

http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/hus/tables ... hus031.pdf
Well, let's see, if it was 1960 right now, I'd be dead.
Speculative, argumentative, and anecdotal, and therefore worthless. You have NO evidence that these advances would not have taken place if we had continued with the level of regulation we had in 1960. And I have evidence that we would have all of that and MORE.
There is an old android saying. In binary it reads: 01001001001001110110110100100000011011100110111101110100001
00000011101110110010101100001011100100110100101101110011001
1100100000011100000110000101101110011101000111001100100001. Makes you think, huh?

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Post by shanek » Thu Jun 24, 2004 1:02 am

[duplicate post]
Last edited by shanek on Fri Jun 25, 2004 2:00 am, edited 1 time in total.
There is an old android saying. In binary it reads: 01001001001001110110110100100000011011100110111101110100001
00000011101110110010101100001011100100110100101101110011001
1100100000011100000110000101101110011101000111001100100001. Makes you think, huh?

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Post by shanek » Thu Jun 24, 2004 1:02 am

[duplicate post]
Last edited by shanek on Mon Jun 28, 2004 5:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
There is an old android saying. In binary it reads: 01001001001001110110110100100000011011100110111101110100001
00000011101110110010101100001011100100110100101101110011001
1100100000011100000110000101101110011101000111001100100001. Makes you think, huh?

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Post by shanek » Thu Jun 24, 2004 1:03 am

[duplicate post]
Last edited by shanek on Mon Jun 28, 2004 5:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
There is an old android saying. In binary it reads: 01001001001001110110110100100000011011100110111101110100001
00000011101110110010101100001011100100110100101101110011001
1100100000011100000110000101101110011101000111001100100001. Makes you think, huh?

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Post by shanek » Thu Jun 24, 2004 1:06 am

[duplicate post]
Last edited by shanek on Mon Jun 28, 2004 5:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
There is an old android saying. In binary it reads: 01001001001001110110110100100000011011100110111101110100001
00000011101110110010101100001011100100110100101101110011001
1100100000011100000110000101101110011101000111001100100001. Makes you think, huh?

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shanek
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Post by shanek » Thu Jun 24, 2004 1:07 am

[duplicate post]
Last edited by shanek on Mon Jun 28, 2004 5:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
There is an old android saying. In binary it reads: 01001001001001110110110100100000011011100110111101110100001
00000011101110110010101100001011100100110100101101110011001
1100100000011100000110000101101110011101000111001100100001. Makes you think, huh?

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shanek
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Post by shanek » Thu Jun 24, 2004 1:07 am

[duplicate post]
Last edited by shanek on Mon Jun 28, 2004 5:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
There is an old android saying. In binary it reads: 01001001001001110110110100100000011011100110111101110100001
00000011101110110010101100001011100100110100101101110011001
1100100000011100000110000101101110011101000111001100100001. Makes you think, huh?