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The Price of Prevention

14 May

I just read this article from my RSS feeds of our local newspaper – http://www.delawareonline.com/viewart/20120513/BUSINESS13/305130035/Advocates-say-HIV-prevention-pill-could-save-lives – and, this blogger, this is both very good and very bad news.  Good because the drug in question can prevent HIV infection in those who don’t have it (as well as treat those who are infected); bad because of availability issues and the yearly cost of the drug.

HIV/AIDS has been decimating peoples all over the world for – Jesus, thirty years.  Somewhere along the line, it occurred – at least to me – that a cure wasn’t going to be in the offing because, ha, there’s no long-term money in curing such a thing and pharmaceutical concerns working on medications can fill in a veritable blank check when filling their coffers.

There are “arguments” pro and con about the drug and both sides make good points… but other than waiting for the FDA to officially give its blessing to use the drug as a preventative, we’re now talking cost and availability and, yeah, health insurance companies are going to shit a brick having to foot the bill – or doing their best to avoid having to do that.

It makes one wonder if the company making this drug is totally and completely soulless and, like their contemporaries, are just worried about their bottom line; seems to me that it doesn’t make much sense to have a breakthrough drug like this when the people who need it can’t get it because they’re not making enough of the drug – which might be on purpose to maximize sales – or the cost is prohibitive… if you ain’t got insurance or can’t otherwise afford the $14,000 per year cost, well…

I agree that condoms and other safe-sex practices aren’t getting the job done; a lot of people afflicted with this disease never really get “better” because they can’t always afford the current medications, don’t take them when they’re supposed to, or they even build up quick resistance to the current stuff, something those who speak out against this new drug are quick to point out, citing that resistant strains could pop up and they’re right back to square one.

Which is why the efforts in this should include eradication of the virus… and who’s working on making this happen?  I mean, I can understand that eradication wasn’t possible until they were able to successfully unlock and map the virus’s DNA – but they’ve done that so why hasn’t someone announced, “Okay, this is how we can wipe this out forever…”  It’s either they can’t eradicate it… or it’s not in their financial interests to eradicate it; you can make long-term money treating something and not so much loot making it go away forever.

 
5 Comments

Posted by on 14 May 2012 in Life, Living and Loving

 

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5 responses to “The Price of Prevention

  1. Up4Dsn

    14 May 2012 at 21:06

    I can see how eradication could solve a lot of problems…but it’s also possible that it may cause alternative problems. There is always two sides of a coin, you know? I’m sure most people would argue that on one side of that coin is a lot of people who are sick and dying. That’s terrible, no doubt about it. But we don’t know what affects eradication would have.

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    • kdaddy23

      14 May 2012 at 22:13

      Okay, J, so what’s the other side of this particular coin? You eradicate the virus so that no one else can get it, which also allows a real fighting chance to cure – not just treat – those who already have the virus. The only downside I see is that pharma companies won’t have the chance for big profits from any treatment drugs, which they can pile up in their pipelines like freight trains knowing that they can charge premium prices and those who can’t pay will stay afflicted – or die – sucks to be poor and/or to have no health insurance, or have a company balk at paying for it because it’ll adversely affect their bottom line, huh?

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      • Up4Dsn

        15 May 2012 at 22:15

        I don’t know what the other side of the coin is. I’m just stating that we can’t ignore that there is one. Too often do we want something so back that we never look at the other side of the coin. I was just stating that we can’t be so focused on eradication that we overlook the alternative.

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      • kdaddy23

        16 May 2012 at 20:00

        Ya know, it just might be beyond me, but I can’t envision what the other side of eradicating a deadly disease could be, except maybe all those people who have been studying it for thirty years have to move on and study something else – still plenty of grant money out there for other things of import like cancer, MS, MD, and the like.

        You don’t do anything to cure the disease, prevent others from getting it, or eradicating it, all they’re doing is spending tons of money on treating it and then doing a number on all the people who could benefit from the treatment – if they can afford it. Maybe the other side of the coin is we eradicate it like we did smallpox… and some pharma companies have to come up with new drugs in their pipelines that aren’t as expensive as HIV palliatives and preventatives – sucks to be them, huh?

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  2. MysteryCoach

    18 May 2012 at 06:21

    I glazed over 1/2 way through reading this because there are so many things that they have which are helpful and then the insurance companies get their hands in it, people can’t afford to take care of themselves and they’re families and it’s horrible all across the board.

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