John Clark (
Mon, 22 Feb 1999 01:19:19 -0500

Hash: SHA1

Tim Bates Wrote:

>The enormous bulk of this cost is for regulatory compliance and marketing
>Dithc the regulations and hte cost is minimal

I hate the FDA as much as anyone but that is a huge exaggeration. The average non generic drug company spends more than twice as much on research as a computer company of the same size. FDA or no FDA, any big company that is not suicidal had better make damn sure that it's product doesn't kill more people than it saves.

     >Critically, you ignore the power of branding. If what you say was
     >correct, Philip Morris would not be the 100 billion dollar company
     >which it is. Nor would Coca Cola.

The minimal thing in the drug business is not research but manufacturing. If Coca Cola cost 10$ a can and generic cola cost 10 cents a can then Coca Cola would be dead as the dodo. Price disparities of that magnitude are possible in the drug business.

>In a non-patent & non-FDA world, without having carried out product
>safety tests for themselves, any generic rip-offs would expose themselves
>to product liability.

Why reinvent the wheel? If a reputable drug company conducts safety tests there is no need to repeat them. Besides, I can make this stuff in my garage, go ahead and sue me, you can't get blood out of a turnip.

>Get rid of the FDA and the barrier to generics would raise substantially.

I'd love to dump the FDA, but I don't follow you here.

>Well, many of us might argue that cheap drugs by the tonne is a good thing.

I would argue that nothing but the same old drugs we've been using for 50 years is not a good thing, regardless of their price.

>The Cisco chair simply believes that patents are not the way to do business.

Even with all their patents I can't build a router as good as Cisco's and sell it at 1% of their price.

John K Clark

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