Bill Gates versus pharmaceutical companies...

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by princealfie, Apr 17, 2007.

  1. princealfie macrumors 68030

    princealfie

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    #1
    http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20070417/hl_nm/gates_pharmaceuticals_dc

    Gates Foundation billions change pharma landscape

    By Ben HirschlerTue Apr 17, 4:10 AM ET

    The billions of dollars thrown at global health problems by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation are changing the game in drug discovery, posing big challenges to the world's top drugmakers, according to a report on Tuesday.

    Pharmaceutical information group IMS Health Inc. said the emergence of megabuck philanthropy was both a threat and a collaboration opportunity for manufacturers.

    "Pharma companies need to develop an explicit strategy to deal with this phenomenon," IMS said in its annual Intelligence.360 report on factors shaping the industry.

    The power of the Gates Foundation was bolstered last year when Warren Buffett signed over much of his fortune to the organization, uniting the world's two richest people in a bid to fight disease, reduce poverty and improve education.

    The move will roughly double the foundation's size to $60 billion, giving it plentiful resources to compete in the medical research arena with both government-funded institutions and commercial pharmaceutical firms.

    As a result, even if drug companies succeed in making key discoveries first, they may still find it attractive to partner with the Gates Foundations, from a practical and public relations point of view, IMS believes.

    AIDS VACCINE

    A $287 million grants program announced last July -- creating an international network of 16 labs to try new approaches to making a vaccine against AIDS -- exemplifies the ground-breaking approach pioneered by the foundation.

    It aims to transform the so-far unsuccessful AIDS vaccine effort by rewarding individual labs that come up with innovative ideas and helping them develop those ideas, while also ensuring they collaborate with rivals.

    To get quick results, the new Collaboration for AIDS Vaccine Discovery may need to access and use patented compounds still under development at pharmaceutical and biotech firms, IMS said.

    That will raises fresh debate over the ethics surrounding patents on life-saving AIDS drugs and vaccines -- of which there are more than 200 in development.

    Leading makers of AIDS drugs include GlaxoSmithKline Plc and Merck & Co. Inc., both of which are also working to develop vaccines.

    Drugmakers, in future, could face mounting pressure to collaborate with the foundation, even if this impacts their bottom line.

    "Whether or not the Gates Foundation effort succeeds, it benefits pharma companies to stay in the game, working synergistically with the foundation," IMS said.

    "The alternative is for pharma to allow itself to be perceived as indifferent to global health concerns -- or to be unseated in the pursuit of advances in world health."

    Bill Gates, the world's richest person, co-founded and remains chairman of software company Microsoft Corp., while Buffett built the world's second-biggest personal fortune running Berkshire Hathaway Inc., an insurance and investment company.

    ** Glad to see Bill Gates fight off the pharma companies who are only interested in their bottom line. I can be optimistic that this will be an incentive for people to design drugs to solve REAL diseases rather than hitting the one-note of patent greed and lack of innovative in the pharma sector.
     
  2. Swarmlord macrumors 6502a

    Swarmlord

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    What are the "real" diseases? So, patenting and protecting your ideas is now greed? We can only hope that someday someone will take one of your best ideas and run with it so you can understand how patents work.

    BTW, I think I found one of your posts in another thread where you didn't use the word greed. You should go back and correct that for consistency.:rolleyes:
     
  3. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    I've read this article twice but still can't figure out exactly what the Gates Foundation is doing to "change the pharma landscape."
     
  4. princealfie thread starter macrumors 68030

    princealfie

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    Yeah, sorry about that... too much Vioxx fallout for moi! :rolleyes:
     
  5. solvs macrumors 603

    solvs

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    He's talking about it (well, his organization is... I think) while doing pretty much the same thing himself in the technology world.

    He's a bad tipper too, and I'll never forgive him for that.
     
  6. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    Let him that would move the world, first move himself.
    --Sophocles
     
  7. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    I don't know why anyone's fooled by this. There will never be a cure for AIDS, it's far too profitable. I find it extremely difficult to believe that a company would invent something that would hurt it's business.
     
  8. it5five macrumors 65816

    it5five

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    One reason why I'm in favor of nationalising pharma. companies. Call me a commie or socialist all you want, but there will never be a cure when there is money to be made. If the gov't is in charge of the pharma. companies, it is (usually) in their best interest to not have all of it's citizens dying of curable diseases.
     
  9. solvs macrumors 603

    solvs

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    #9
    Do you mean me? Because I'm a good tipper. And I don't abuse my monopoly. :p

    If you meant him, yeah, pretty much.
     
  10. princealfie thread starter macrumors 68030

    princealfie

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    #10
    I guess that you're into soap operas, not Greek tragedies? :rolleyes:
     
  11. Swarmlord macrumors 6502a

    Swarmlord

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    To be fair to our scientists working this disease, it's a retro virus covered by sugars that only leave a small portion of the virus exposed. Malaria and TB have similar features, have been around a lot longer and still haven't been "cured". Until they come up with an innovative way to treat retro viruses, there will only be medicines to mitigate the effects. I doubt very much that a scientist or company employing him or her would withhold this type of breakthrough. I'm sure they can make plenty of money from it.
     
  12. solvs macrumors 603

    solvs

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    Quae? :confused: No, I'm not into Soaps. But I'm not very familiar with Sophocles either, other than Oedipus. I know that IJ's quote was attributed to Socrates (the philosopher and writer, though not a tragedian for those not aware), who I know a little of (more into Plato, didn't like Aristotle). I've read the works of Homer as well (well, the Iliad and the Odyssey). But other than that, no, I don't know anything about them. Perhaps you can enlighten me as to what I'm missing. ;)

    But the question was whether he was referring to me or Gates. A valid question I thought. My point being that Gates was more the hypocrite.
     
  13. biturbomunkie macrumors 6502a

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    i can somewhat agree. but there are researchers that don't work for pharmaceutical companies. also, most medical researches are highly competitive. any significant discovery will lead to prestige in addition to money. i doubt it would be any scientist's interest to hold back discovery like "a cure for AIDS."
     
  14. biturbomunkie macrumors 6502a

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    well, nationalizing medical or any scientific research can be dangerous. bush-science is one example. but i can agree that the current health care system (i.e. relationships between the FDA and pharmaceutical companies, medical insurance, etc) in the U.S. left much to desire.
     
  15. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    Sorry, I missed this earlier. The quote was directed at Bill Gates, who it seems to me, is trying to change others while not changing himself first. The more you find out about the Gates Foundation, the more there is not to like. Gates is bringing the same amoral, control-freak mentality to charity that he used at Microsoft.
     
  16. solvs macrumors 603

    solvs

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    A point I was trying to make, thank you for fleshing it out. His wife is quite nice though. $ometimes I wonder what $he $ee$ in him, but I'm glad she convinced him to start giving some back at least. Before her he didn't.

    Was it Sophocles or Socrates though, now I've heard both.
     
  17. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    I found this quote attributed to Sophocles, but you know those Greeks.
     
  18. solvs macrumors 603

    solvs

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    #18
    Yeah, but their food is good.

    Sometimes.
     

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