Big-Time Bloggers in Praise of the Drug Industry

By December 17, 2006Health Care

It’s a little late, but didn’t want to overlook last week’s observations from Glenn Reynolds and his Instapundit readers about the pharmaceutical industry and the people who work for it. There’s been so much political abuse of the drug industry that some people are now embarrassed to be associated with it. Reynolds responds as someone who, with his wife, has benefited from results of R&D that the pharmaceutical companies undertook with the expectation of profits.

Hey, Big Pharma isn’t perfect. But treating ’em like they are evil is stupid, and counterproductive, and the people who do it are the ones who deserve to be ostracized and humiliated, not the people who are actually working on things that make life better.

Reynolds wrote an outstanding column on the topic of drug R&D at Tech Central Station in March 2004.

Commenting on the Instapundit post, Time Magazine’s blogger Andrew Sullivan — who writes often about being HIV-positive — offers his personal perspective:

The drug companies are not perfect, but they have done more to advance the well-being of human beings than any other industry in the past decade or so. I am one of millions alive because of them; and countless more millions live better, longer lives because of them. That they have become demonized by the left says far more about the left than about the drug companies.

Reynolds and Sullivan, together. Might make a pretty good panel to testify before a congressional hearing next year, don’t you think?

Join the discussion 3 Comments

  • Well, at least until Sullivan declares that opposition to Big Pharma is another sign of impending theocracy.

  • ajacksonian says:

    While undergoing Blogger Interruptus and can’t hand you the link to my article, let me say that as a sufferer of another condition, I am less than firm or sanguine on the ability of Big Pharma to have properly examined past pathways on treatments. The emphasis on high-tech, cutting edge and high cost and research has overlooked relatively low tech concepts and the necessary rigor to which they should have been looked at. Especially those things that have fallen into the Public Domain and are beyond the reach of patents.

    If Big Pharma would, indeed, act scientifically and require that all suspected ‘dead-end’ pathways be confirmed to BE ‘dead-end’ we would be better off both as a scientific community and a social community. Until full and in-depth research rigor and double-checking of results is performed and profit made secondary, the industry will always be driven TO technology instead of TO results. They often do go hand-in-hand, but often is not always nor even primarily so. So color me unimpressed on an industrial consortium always pushing for ‘cures’ over effective treatments. For they are not one in the same thing.

  • Andy says:

    Whenever the two agree, it’s usually something worth listening to. If only Reynolds would (swallow his pride and) do more to highlight our government’s descent into using torture and the suspending basic rights, that would be a worthy convergence.