Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Now That Was Fun - Megan McArdle Loses Her Patience on Big Pharma

This post is simply excellent.
Big Pharma areviewed as major bad guys and she stands up nicely for them.
Her substantial points apply just as well to software firms, but somehow there is not the same moral outrage against them. But many people overemphasize the significance of academic research, and underestimate the steps between promising research and a marketable product that will make money.
Maybe we'd all be better off taking fewer brand-name drugs. But we wouldn't have more innovation or more research if we eliminated the marketing budget, unless Dr. Avorn has evidence that a substantial part of that budget is wasted and doesn't result in higher drug sales. That could well be the case--as I've said elsewhere, I'm under no illusion that what companies do is always optimal. But Dr. Avorn has evidenced none of the basic business knowledge that would enable him to make that judgement. I am completely unsurprised to find out that Dr. Jerry Avorn has completed no work in economics, and indeed, so far as I can tell, no work in anything except being a professor of medicine? I'm sure he's a very good researcher on how patients use drugs. But he's pretty clearly no sort of expert at all on how companies actually make them--or anything else gracing our store shelves.


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