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Author Topic: HIV/AIDS , A Good Investment Opportunity?  (Read 3374 times)

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Offline Life

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HIV/AIDS , A Good Investment Opportunity?
« on: June 06, 2007, 09:52:50 PM »
I have been pondering a few threads of late about the money mongers out there who are making bucks off of this...  I asked my ID Doc what he thought about it.......   Just another point of view...


I wanted to get your take on what has been thrown about in hiv/aids forums I attend. I know you are an advocate for us and this is why I ask. Given the amount of money Pharma makes off of an HIV/AIDS patient, why would a cure or substantial break through be allowed? When I say break through, I mean huge loss to the current incomes that Pharma is receiving through the cost of current drug therapies. I would hope that there are watchdogs and checks and balances out there, but many of us question this. I would think some Guy/Girl would jump at the chance to win the Nobel Prize in finding a radical new approach to the current regimens that could render current methods obsolete... If I was a stock holder in one of these mega Pharma Companies, I would probably fire the CEO on any break through that was not just one that gave us just alittle bit better treatment. Not a cure or even once a week dosing..

Just curious on what your thoughts are Ben..



hi Eric,

Great to hear from you.

First off, let me say that too many people in the world and this country can't afford healthcare.

I also believe (as someone who was mentored by a Nobel laureate) that investment in new drug discovery should be valued and rewarded. If there's anything in this world that we should incentivize is should be life saving discoveries. (I'd prefer that over incentivizing the manufacturers of bombs or climate change, for example).

While drug companies make a lot of money, the proportion of their income that's derived from HIV medications turns out (in general) to be relatively small. The reason for this is that the marketplace for HIV medications in this country is no more (it's actually fewer) than the ~1 million persons living with HIV (or maybe 3 million in the "developed" world). Since only about 50% of HIV+ are on medications, we're only talking about a current market of 1-2 million persons world wide. (It really should be closer to 20 million, but that's another topic for ranting). Even the best drugs aren't used in 100% of the patients, so a blockbuster might be used in .5-1 million.

Contrast this to the tens of millions of prescriptions for Viagra or cholesterol-lowering medications, and you get the idea that for big pharma, HIV drugs don't really change the bottom line too much. (Paradoxically, this is probably why insurance companies haven't cared much about the very high prices of HIV medications.)

The exception to this might be the smaller biotech firms who are developing HIV medications-- a new FDA approved HIV drug might make a very big difference to a company who doesn't yet have a product.

So, overall, I believe that there aren't any clear answers to this; I don't think that the profit motive is the reason we don't have a cure (another different rant), nor a once-a-week HIV medication. Firing CEOs (or vice prez's) for poor corporate conduct, rather than lack of growth in profit might not get us that elusive HIV cure, but could get us corporate social responsibility that's more than just a slogan. If more shareholders held to this, rather than looking at growth in marketshare or profit, the healthcare world might be just a little better than it is now.

Just my 2 cents. BY

Offline Longislander

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Re: HIV/AIDS , A Good Investment Opportunity?
« Reply #1 on: June 07, 2007, 12:20:42 AM »
Eric, you're a lucky man to have Dr Ben!! Are you he doesn't have a crush onyou!?!?! ;)
infected 10/05 diagnosed 12-05
2/06   379/57000                    6/07 372/30500 25%   4/09 640/U/32% 
5/06   ?? /37000                     8/07 491/55000/24%    9/09 913/U/39%
8/06   349/9500 25%              11/07 515/68000/24     2/10 845/U/38%
9/06   507/16,000 30% !          2/08  516/116k/22%    7/10 906/80/39%
12/06 398/29000 26%             Start Atripla 3/08
3/07   402/80,000 29%            4/08  485/undet!/27
4/07   507/35,000 25%            7/08 625/UD/34%
                                                 11/08 684/U/36%

Offline aztecan

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Re: HIV/AIDS , A Good Investment Opportunity?
« Reply #2 on: June 07, 2007, 12:22:52 AM »
Hey Eric,

I think many of us have a love-hate relationship with big pharma. On the one hand, they do make money hand over fist, which, in some ways, causes the cost of health care to escalate.

On the other hand, they invest a lot of money developing drugs. It may take years of trial and error, studies and trials before a drug can be marketed. Many drugs never get that far because they fail along the way in some aspect, despite the money spent to develop them.

I am grateful to big pharma for what we have today regarding treatment. I sometimes resent big pharma when clients or myself find ourselves priced out of the market, especially on some of the newer medications.

I guess I agree with your doc about this.


"May your life preach more loudly than your lips."
~ William Ellery Channing (Unitarian Minister)

Offline Life

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Re: HIV/AIDS , A Good Investment Opportunity?
« Reply #3 on: June 07, 2007, 12:27:52 AM »
I am trying to learn more how this all works.  I still do not really understand.... It seems to be a we / they thing to me...

Offline pozattitude

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    • to find out more about me....
Re: HIV/AIDS , A Good Investment Opportunity?
« Reply #4 on: June 07, 2007, 01:11:39 AM »
OK this may sound bitchy but here it goes.

I believe if HIV/AIDS infected primarily  heterosexual white male Christians, the course of the pandemic would have been different.

my 2 cents

POSITIVE PEDALERS... We are a group of people living with HIV/AIDS, eliminating stigma through our positive public example.

Offline northernguy

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Re: HIV/AIDS , A Good Investment Opportunity?
« Reply #5 on: June 07, 2007, 01:37:46 AM »
I'd also like to point out that the corporate $ aspect is a particularly American way of looking at it.  There are many countries, including mine, currently paying for HIV drugs that would love to find a way to reduce/eliminate that cost.  Big pharma is huge but big gov't is even huger ;)
Apr 28/06 cd4 600 vl 10,600 cd% 25
Nov 8/09 cd4 510 vl 49,5000 cd% 16
Jan 16/10 cd4 660 vl 54,309 cd% 16
Feb 17/10 Started Atripla
Mar 7/10 cd4 710 vl 1,076 cd% 21
Apr 18/10 cd4 920 vl 268 cd% 28
Jun 19/10 cd4 450 vl 60 cd% 25
Aug 15/10 cd4 680 vl 205 cd% 27
Apr 3/11 cd4 780 vl <40 cd% 30
Jul 17/11 cd4 960 vl <40 cd%33
April 15/12 cd4 1,010 vl <40 cd% 39
April 20/12 Switched to Viramune + Truvada
Aug 2/12 cd4 1040, vl <40, cd% 38
Oct 19 cd4 1,110 vl <40 cd% 41

Offline Tempeboy

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Re: HIV/AIDS , A Good Investment Opportunity?
« Reply #6 on: June 07, 2007, 02:51:43 AM »
Pharma are kept on a very tight leash here in Oz, if they want to sell their wares here - then they are contracted to do so at agreed prices.  They are not able to stipulated or effect cost.  Some south east asian countries recently have given pharma the flick - dispensing with patency legislation, allowing the manufacture of similar agents at hugely reduced cost.
Roughly roundabout somewhere in the eighteenth or nineteenth century, Sodomite begat Homosexual out of moral, medical and legal models, bequeathing him Identity, who inbred with Nuclear Family and Industrialism to spawn Homophobia.

Dean Kiley

Offline Life

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Re: HIV/AIDS , A Good Investment Opportunity?
« Reply #7 on: June 07, 2007, 11:13:55 AM »
I love having so many other countries represented here.... I think America is a third world country when it comes down to healthcare....   No offence to other countries, but we do shell out alot of money over seas for aids healthcare, but yet, here we are in America looking like total zombies not beleiving what we are seeing when you cant even take care of your own....  This is not the America I like so much anymore...

my 2 bits


Offline mudman8

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Re: HIV/AIDS , A Good Investment Opportunity?
« Reply #8 on: June 07, 2007, 07:19:54 PM »
Big pharma makes a hell of a lot more off regular drugs that huge numbers of us use. Even aspirin has a huge markup.  More money is made in general meds. They did put a lot of money into finding meds that work for us. about 4 years ago I read about Gilead having new meds coming on the market so I put a grand in that stock and made out nicely and even started taking 2 of them. Sold it recently at a profit to get stocks that give me a dividend that I use for living money.
Life is analog

Offline pozniceguy

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Re: HIV/AIDS , A Good Investment Opportunity?
« Reply #9 on: June 07, 2007, 07:54:18 PM »
I would add my two cents to what Mudman said...  if you really want to do something about "big pharma"  use the system.....if you buy even one share you get to vote in the annual  share holders meeting and you get all the info you want including financial..from the company....If as your Dr says there are about .5million persons in this country  ...think that if each owned one share  what a voice that could be to the company....

I know that some people barely get by on their current finances but there are also people who have 401 plans..investment portfolios...inherited accounts  etc....so maybe they buy a share for a buddy....( sounds like a campaign slogan) 

I have researched some of the major companies that sell the most popular drugs..your Dr is very correct...the big money comes from Viagra..various antidepressants..sleeping pills of several types and mostly the "HIV" drug is not even mentioned since it has so little impact on income....
I have a small account that is left over from my working days..a 401k type rollover...I had the administrator buy three of the "Big Pharma" stocks..  ..Glaxo..Meade..& Merck...comes up to less than $1000.oo  not exactly a fortune but since I can't really take the money out and spend it for a few more years..why not use it to follow the companies involved..

remember the good times...honor the past but don't live there
Le stelle la notte sono grandie luminose, nel cuore profondo del Texas

Offline Florida69

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Re: HIV/AIDS , A Good Investment Opportunity?
« Reply #10 on: June 21, 2007, 10:08:17 AM »
I know you can spank me later for finally making this post, as you know I have managed through this issue myself.  I have private insurance @$200/mo and my drugs cost me out of pocket $500/mo.  If I did not have insurance, where would I be?  Well, I would have not qualified for any of the drug companies assistance, I make $1000 more a year than their cut off point.  My two cents, is you have be creative and willing to make sacrafices to be able to to afford to live in this country with or without HIV.  Once our country moves forward with some sort of nationalized insurnace plan things will continue to be impossible.  You have to read and understand how your insurance works, and pray that you have it.  Qualifying for other plans are very difficult, the reason I know this is I myself have tried everything.  So now, it is necessary for me to find a job that offers better insurance to help with my medical expenses, and keep my private insurance as secondary.  I hope that makes sense. The thing to do would be to buy stock in the big pharmaceutical companies.  Maybe that way one day  you will get some money back from your investment in life, but who knows where or when that will be.   Drug costs are continually on the rise, but most companies do offer assistance if you qualify.  Just so you know I write my state sentators, house representative and govenor once a month and give them my input into what I going through in th war on drug costs.  You should do the same, maybe we can make a difference if w hang together.  HUGS TO YOU... D
Nothing in the world can take the place of Persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan 'Press On' has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.
Calvin Coolidge

Offline allopathicholistic

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Re: HIV/AIDS , A Good Investment Opportunity?
« Reply #11 on: February 28, 2008, 09:27:05 PM »

Offline isitthatbad

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Re: HIV/AIDS , A Good Investment Opportunity?
« Reply #12 on: February 29, 2008, 02:36:07 AM »
Im so glad i live in England over here we have a system called the NHS our National Insurance is taken direct from our wages so we have already paid for our health care up front.  WHEN i start meds i wont have to pay anymore beacuse it has already been taken from my wages and as for USA supporting other countries the UK give billions in s to foreign aid and look at the size of us!!! 8)


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