Capitalism and pharmaceuticals

Back in 1980 the number of viruses – virii – that the human species knew how to treat was around and about zero. We could vaccinate against some and provide bed rest for others but other than that, well, not much treatment around.

Like many people living with HIV today, Thomas takes one pill every day at 6am, which stops the virus from replicating in his body. Modern antiretroviral medication reduces the virus in the bloodstream to such an extent that a person becomes “undetectable” – they are unable to pass on the virus through sex.

That’s a pretty good outcome after only four decades. A rather good advertisement for this private sector actors, pharma companies, patents, capitalism and markets, don’t you think?

Sure there’s philanthropy in there as well, government spending and all sorts of other bits and pieces. But the claim that the current system set up fails us is rather disproved, no?

First (US) recorded cases in 1981, disease identified itself in 1983, Up until what, 1992 or so it was a death sentence, by 1994, perhaps, treatable. That’s actually a pretty damn good record there.

Think on it, if Freddie Mercury had lived another two years – which is generous, perhaps only a year – he’d probably still be with us.

Difficult to think of any system whatever that would have done better than that.

21 thoughts on “Capitalism and pharmaceuticals”

  1. Why would you want Freddie Mercury to live another two years? OK, I’ve nothing against him personally, I’d be happy if he lived to 100 so long as he STFU-

  2. The Meissen Bison

    Difficult to think of any system whatever that would have done better than that.

    I’m sorry to have to tell you that that’s a sad shortcoming on your part.

    If you had but one -only one – professorship you would be able to note¹ that the pharma companies stalled and delayed intentionally in order to maximise their profits from a larger cohort of increasingly desperate patients.

    Alternatively, if you don’t like that one, treatments for HiV initially favoured one class of patient over another, were intrinsically unfair and in consequence were made available prematurely before equality of outcome as between all types of patient could be assured.

    Capitalism – pah!
    _____
    1) This is a professorial term used to introduce unfounded ex cathedra asseverations.

  3. Viruses. Never virii. You’ve been told before. https://www.thoughtco.com/what-is-the-plural-of-virus-112199

    The plural of virus is viruses in English—at least at the moment. The virus is a neuter noun in Latin. That means its plural, if there were an attested ancient usage of virus in the plural, would have ended in an “-a,” because of neuter nouns in (ancient Greek and) Latin end in an “-a,” in the plural nominative and accusative cases. The example of the plural of datum is a case in point. Since datum is a neuter singular, its plural is data.

    Since the virus is neuter, vira is a possibility for the nominative/accusative plural. It could not be viri.

    Second declension masculine nouns end in “-i” in the nominative plural

    Alumnus > Alumni
    Singular > Plural

    Viri is the plural of the masculine 2nd declension noun vir, which means ‘man’. Vir ‘man’ is a masculine noun and the “-i” ending is appropriate for the plural nominative of masculine second declension nouns.

  4. Bloody hell Chris, that takes me back 60 years, and then 40 years later telling the kids, “it’s all in the word endings” to a first approximation.

  5. Ah yes, Latin with Porky Patten in 1C (no streaming that year for those who wish to deny my intellectual prowess.

  6. A neuter singular ending in “um” has a plural ending in “a”, but a neuter singular ending in “us” surely has a plural also ending in “us”, but pronounced something like “yoos”?

  7. Bloke in Germany

    Tim, you are just not getting it.

    If we had had TrueSocialism™ at the time, exactly and precisely as described in the many hundreds of thousands of pages of socialist theoretical writings on how such a society should function, it would have been available quicker and cheaper.

  8. Bloke in Germanii

    Back off topic, the formation of plurii in English is (rightly) increasingly determined by English grammar, not that of dead languages. And yes, the Greek that found its way into English is dead Greek.

  9. It turns out that I have at last forgotten the name of the plonker who taught me Latin. Hurray!

    I do remember that in the middle of a double period he’d cut out into the corridor for a fag.

    Bugger! I’ve just remembered his name again.

  10. If we had had TrueSocialism™ at the time, exactly and precisely as described in the many hundreds of thousands of pages of socialist theoretical writings on how such a society should function, it would have been available quicker and cheaper.

    Hundreds of thousands of pages where every writer believes their own pet hobby/vocation will be uniquely funded and emboldened. Blessed are the cheesemakers.

  11. It’s exactly for the reasons being discussed above that I advise my friends to learn spoken english & not bother with the the written. The English can’t spell it so why should they be expected to?

  12. Busses in Latin, eh? I’ve been waiting for this moment!

    The Motor Bus, by A D Godley

    What is this that roareth thus?
    can it be a Motor Bus?
    Yes, the swell and hideous hum
    Indicat Motorem Bum!
    Implet in the Corn and High
    Terror me Motoris Bi:
    Bo Motori clamitabo
    Ne Motore caeder a Bo –
    Dative be or Ablative
    So thou only let us live:
    Whither shall thy victims flee?
    Spare us, spare us, Motor Be!
    Thus I sang; and still anigh
    came in hordes Motores Bi,
    Et complebat omne forum
    Copia Motorum Borum.
    How shall wretches live like us
    Cincti Bis Motoribus?
    Domine, defende nos
    Contra nos Motores Bos!

  13. Back in 1980 the number of viruses – virii – that the human species knew how to treat was around and about zero

    Guardian wrong as usual: Vaccines for Smallpox (globally eradicated 1977), Chickenpox, Measles, Mumps, Polio, Rubella and more are all pre 1980

  14. Bloke in Germanii

    Pcar is wrong on the internet again.

    Vaccines are preventive, not curative. We still can’t treat (at least not with curative intent) any of those viral infections you named.

  15. @BiG
    Back on the misrepresentation slurs again I see

    I did not say “curative” or “Cure”. You did same slur at HectorD and castigated

    Thus, BiG wrong on the internet again

    Smallpox UK

    When Edward Jenner introduced the first ever vaccination in 1796, a life-saving protection against smallpox (which has now been eradicated), it was not long before there was resistance, with claims it was ‘un-Christian’

    The Vaccination Act was duly introduced in 1853, making it compulsory for all babies to be inoculated against smallpox, and an anti-­vaccination movement emerged, encouraging protests and riots

    We should all remember that history, and expect the unfailing tendencies of human nature, including inherent distrust, the potential for paranoia and the suspicion of science. When a vaccination does finally emerge for Covid-19, we must count our blessings – and doubt the naysayers

  16. @ decnine
    You are correct partly because omnibus is dative plural so there is no further pluralisation of bus

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