People love Google. Their products are easy and intuitive and make your day easier. People love Apple. There was even a bloom of endearment for Bill Gates as he officially stepped down as head of Microsoft last month.
A Harris poll of 20,000 Americans was released last month and showed that as an industry “Technology” was most favorably rated among all participants, and that “Tobacco” was the seen in the most negative way. Not hard to understand.
Barely above Tobacco, were two other industries that a lot of people have problems with: “Insurance” and “Energy” (what do you think Exxon’s profits will be for this past quarter?). And wedged right between them? "Pharmaceuticals". Wow, and here I thought I was doing something good for people.
I know people are mad a prescription costs and are bombarded by ads and commercials for products. They’re worried about safety in the wake of the problems with Vioxx and (perhaps) Avandia – both of which have helped vast numbers of people more than they’ve hurt. Drugs always need to be an informed risk-benefit analysis — patients and physicians need to be able to communicate that.
Add to that, a recommendation from the FDA last week that in the wake of fears about Avandia that all new diabetes medicines be tested for cardiovascular risk – even if there is no scientific basis to be concerned about it. Good grief. Remember how I posted about the scientific method? It seems that no longer applies to drug-research. You now have the 24-hour news/hype cycle determining the activity of the goverment agency with the duty to protect the nation's food and drug supplies. God help us. This ruling will likely delay approval of new medicines by years and increase the total investment required to bring a new drug to market to over a billion dollars (and that’s before anyone pays for one pill) — and you thought your prescription prices are high now?