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Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Determined Stupidity VS Knowledge

Anne Applebaum writes about bird flu. It's frighteningly ignorant and political. She will be duly fisked later when I have time to do it properly.

For something a bit more rational, try Wharton:
Life Science Insights' Lundstrom notes that the process of developing vaccines is more predictable, cheaper and faster than it is for other drugs. "Is this a real revolution, or simply the case of companies making lemonade out of lemons?" he asks.

On the other hand, Lundstrom supports Danzon's point that the traditional view of vaccines as a bulk-order commodity is changing. "I think it's almost a misnomer to call some of the new products vaccines. They are patented, targeted treatments and can create hybrid pricing," he says. As an example, he points to Wyeth's childhood vaccination, Prevnar, that has proven itself superior in clinical trials and commands $50 to $60 a dose from insurers, compared to competitors' $10 a dose.

Insurers, he predicts, will increasingly be willing to support new, high-priced vaccines if they are proven to keep long-term costs down. "Vaccines are a very efficient way to treat illness. Prevention has significant economic advantages. We're at a point in the market where developing vaccines is attractive; [this hasn't been true] in the recent past. I don't think you can underestimate the role that payers increasingly play in determining what's valuable in the market. And I do think that this is really a different market."

If insurers step up, companies will be eager to invest in vaccine research and development and manufacturing plants, suggests Danzon. "There is a tremendous amount of R&D activity in vaccines now both in big pharma companies and in the biotech industry. I think if there's good reimbursement and reasonable prices, the problem of innovation will take care of itself."
It's a good article and you will probably learn something from it.

Your preamble raises an important point- as ime progresses, more and more on Bird Flu is being written.

Where can we find the best clearinghouse for news on BF?

That WAPO's Applebaum is writing such drivel, is scary.
I came across that Post article and you are listed on it so I wanted to see what you said- I am thinking of doing my own comment on it tonight.
Ilona - Please do!

I think the stupid bit about Intelligent Design deserves a bit of clarification, to say the least. I was going to mention it, but I wanted to talk about the bad science and economic ideas primarily. Not that the Intelligent Design stuff didn't irk me!
SC&A, the best is the CurEvents.com Flu Clinic that I have been linking to.

But there's tons of it. You will find the most thoughtful discussions and a lot of medical/scientific links over there.
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