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frontline - hunting the nightmare bacteria (se32e5 oad 10/22/2013) [spoilers]

Discussion in 'Now Playing - TV Show Talk' started by NorthAlabama, Oct 23, 2013.

  1. NorthAlabama

    NorthAlabama tabasco rules

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    sweet home, al
    the nih outbreak story was new to me. i also found the comments on why drug companies are reluctant to develop new antibiotics revealing.

    unlike cholesterol or cancer drugs which will work the same 30 years from now as they do today, antibiotics are prescribed for brief use, become less effective with each use, and doctors prescribe them sparingly to prolong their life until eventual obsolescence.

    this makes antibiotics less profitable than other drugs, a much lower return on a pharmaceutical company's investment, creating less incentive for new research and development. a scary thought with several new "super bugs" that resist all current treatments also documented in the report.

    is this an example of a free market failure? should government attempt to prompt research and development of new antibiotics?
     
  2. Enrique

    Enrique Active Member

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    I don't think it's a failure of the free market, but HeathCare is just one of those things that shouldn't have been part of the "free market" in the first place. I applaud Pfizer for even trying to take on this big issue, but no way could've one company done it alone. I think this need to be a partnership between companies like Pfizer and government no way either could do it alone.
     
  3. markp99

    markp99 TakoKichi TCF Club

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    Just saw this. Scary stuff!

    The whole, "we answer to our shareholders" thing was disturbing in this context.
     
  4. Unbeliever

    Unbeliever Random Nobody

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    Feb 3, 2001
    Altadena, CA
    Spoiler warning for a news show?

    --Carlos V.
     
  5. NorthAlabama

    NorthAlabama tabasco rules

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    sweet home, al
    yeah - i did think before adding it. i tend to view frontline as a documentary more than a news show. ;)
     
  6. Numb And Number2

    Numb And Number2 New Member

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    I too long for the days when I could chew on willow bark and not fear that anyone was being rewarded for my renewed health.
     
  7. logic88

    logic88 Active Member

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    Land Of...
    I guess it depends on if you want know if the folks profiled in the piece survived. Originally I was thinking that no one died since the interviews weren't sorrowful enough but then as they kept droning on about bad the infections were, I had a moment of doubt.
     
  8. hairyblue

    hairyblue A good Man

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    Denver, CO
    I watched this too. It is scary what these drug resistant bugs can do in a short time.

    I think the Government should be researching this. And also we should have Government Healthcare and not leave it with the free market.

    In fact I think the world governments should be working together to find a solution to this problem.
     
  9. NorthAlabama

    NorthAlabama tabasco rules

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    sweet home, al
    i have no problem with anyone being rewarded for hard work and innovation.

    but to have the skills, knowledge, and power to help, and still refuse because it might not be profitable? when the customers you would be helping already provide you with billions in profits? that seems to be short sighted to me.
     
  10. logic88

    logic88 Active Member

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    Land Of...
    Didn't the program mention a potential price tag of $1B to successfully introduce a new antibiotic? With costs that high, why should companies risk that much money on a product that might not produce a steady income stream? If I was a shareholder, I wouldn't want them to invest in such low return projects either.
     
  11. NorthAlabama

    NorthAlabama tabasco rules

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    Apr 19, 2012
    sweet home, al
    i would never suggest it be done because it's needed, or the right thing to do, so how 'bout this: if 25% of your profit base dies from untreatable infections, your profit falls 25%, too.

    i'm not suggesting any one company be the hero here. it would be in the best interest of all pharmaceutical companies to come together and share the burden for advancement. if not, they might all share in the result.
     
  12. logic88

    logic88 Active Member

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    Land Of...
    Perhaps they can do a X Prize for the next big breakthrough. Have each country pony up some dough so the kitty is suitable large.

    Also, the latest SGU podcast mentioned PPMOs as looking very promising for a new approach to battling bacterial infections.

    http://oregonstate.edu/ua/ncs/archi...ppmosā€-offer-new-approach-bacterial-infection
     
  13. Jesda

    Jesda CAPTAIN AWESOME

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    DETROIT!
    If there's a market for drugs to fight superbugs, then they will be aggressively developed.

    I appreciate Frontline for bringing this issue to light. I am not, however, worried about the future.
     
  14. mattack

    mattack Active Member

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    sunnyvale
    (This is news? I thought people have known about this for many years -- btw, I haven't yet watched or at least listened to the audio podcast of this episode...)

    How is it exactly a free market failure? Plus, there has been government funding of 'basic research' for a very long time.

    It is a *doctor* failure, for failing to tell their patients that antiobiotics don't work for some diseases AND CAN MAKE THINGS WORSE (because of this resistance issue).
     
  15. NorthAlabama

    NorthAlabama tabasco rules

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    sweet home, al
    i was asking if it was an example of a failure, because:

    1) there are currently several deadly infections that are not treatable with existing antibiotics, and

    2) pharmaceutical companies will not develop new antibiotics to treat these deadly infections because they do not anticipate as large a profit margin compared to boner, hairgrowing, asthma, and cholesteral meds that will be used regularly for life.
     
  16. logic88

    logic88 Active Member

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    Land Of...
    MRSA has been in the news a lot for the past few years but I hadn't heard of KPC or the other resistant bacterias mentioned in the report.
     
  17. fmowry

    fmowry Active Member

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    Baltimore, MD
    The problem is it takes so long to get a drug through the FDA process. Getting an antibiotic for a bacteria that is affecting us NOW is a losing proposition. Everyone will always need boner pills, asthma, and cholesterol meds, but the current infection bug might not even be around or widespread by the time an antibiotic is developed specifically for it.

    Sort of hard to start the process now for a new drug that will stop a future (new) bacteria that we currently don't know about.
     
  18. NorthAlabama

    NorthAlabama tabasco rules

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    sweet home, al
    what about the untreatable bugs (covered in the show) that are killing dozens of people now? if one makes the leap to pandemic, how would we treat patients, and how many would die? it's too late to start development after an outbreak - think spanish flu, not cancer.

    not even trying to research because it might not be cost effective? i would feel better with anyone doing meaningful research, public or private.
     
  19. philhu

    philhu User Since Day ONE!

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    Funcity, MA
    The reason they cannot prebuild drugs is that we do not know what we are fighting until they occur....Kind of like the NSA grabbing billions of emails/texts etc just in case they can have the one socked away that they need 2 days quicker.
     
  20. NorthAlabama

    NorthAlabama tabasco rules

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    sweet home, al
    the bugs are here now, and new antibiotics in the past have been developed ahead of older ones becoming resistant.
     

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