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  •  How many medical innovations (8+ / 0-)

    come from rich, dilettante doctors? Not many.

    The innovations come from the academy where no one gets paid very well. They come from people dedicated to the science, not people dedicated to the money.

    And by the way, most "Billion dollar drugs" also derive from research at the university level NOT from big pharma. It's only AFTER someone else does the hard work that big pharma steps in and reaps all the massive profits.

    •  They often come from people ... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      VClib

      ... who want to become rich.  And that includes the academy.

      •  Right now they are coming from people who are (0+ / 0-)

        often hated by the medical establishment.

        People who use supplements and dietary methods of treatment that are gentler than drugs with fewer side effects.

        I get excited about new cutting edge science in medicine, and then I remember--oh yea, that's only for rich people who can afford it.

        Gentlemen, congratulations. You're everything we've come to expect from years of government training (Zed, MIB).

        by GreenMother on Wed Aug 07, 2013 at 04:10:00 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I'm in academia, in a technical field, (5+ / 0-)

        at an R1 (i.e. research intensive) institution. If I were at all interested in becoming rich, I would most decisively not have chosen this career path. Would I mind if someone threw money at me for some discovery I made? Of course not. Does the prospect of that happening influence what I choose to work on? Not in the slightest.

        And this goes for virtually all my colleagues. In this business, people are mainly motivated by things like curiosity about the world, the ability to be your own boss, accolades from colleagues, and the prospect of being able to contribute to the betterment of humanity. Money, beyond what you need to be comfortable, simply isn't a particularly important motivator.

        "A government that robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul." - George Bernard Shaw

        by Drobin on Wed Aug 07, 2013 at 05:04:07 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Kind of. (5+ / 0-)

      Big Pharma often pays university medical and chem departments to do research, which not only makes it possible to get research done without having to build labs of your own, but also gives plausible deniability in case of error, and great PR by allowing them to say "we support X!".  And once something is developed there, they step in and find a way to make it profitable, often by hiring the students who did the research.

      It's not a simple thing mapping the money and influence.

      I am not religious, and did NOT say I enjoyed sects.

      by trumpeter on Wed Aug 07, 2013 at 02:20:59 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  CaptianF - I have licensed drugs compounds (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wilderness voice, guyeda

      from some of the top research universities in the US. At the point when these drug candidates are licensed about 10% of the money has been spent that will be needed to bring a drug to market. Add to that the fact that even with the most promising compounds, that are licensed based on data generated in university labs, most of them fail to make it all the way to market due to safety or efficacy issues.

      I know lots of scientists who are involved in drug discovery in university labs, startups and big pharma. They are all hoping that their inventions help people lead longer and healthier lives, but they are also very aware of the potential personal financial rewards of inventing a block buster drug.

      "let's talk about that"

      by VClib on Wed Aug 07, 2013 at 07:09:53 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  but in some cases it gets handed to them (0+ / 0-)

        parents raised the money and local doc did the vital intial work:
        http://www.nytimes.com/...

        But it was not until reading Natalie’s birthday wish in 2003 that Ms. Stack and her husband, Geoffrey, a real estate developer, formed the Cystinosis Research Foundation, raising almost $400,000 at an initial cocktail party.

         At about the same time, Dr. Ranjan Dohil, a pediatric gastroenterologist at the University of California, San Diego, who was exploring why Cystagon was so hard to tolerate, stumbled upon something. Testing a child who had a feeding tube, Dr. Dohil accidentally delivered the drug to the child’s small intestine rather than the stomach. He found the drug was absorbed better.

        Then Raptor ran the trials and got it approved.  The old formulation costs 9k/yr.  The Raptor formulation, same compound, which was handed to them, costs 250k/yr, paid for by yours and my insurance premiums for the benefit of their stockholders.

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