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Another example of pharma's immunity to free-market forces

by Dave Konkel [Moderator] / January 17, 2006 4:06 AM PST
LSBC closing signals pharming trouble; Fall of pioneer in using transgenic plants for pharmaceuticals has analysts worried field may dry up.
(Scientist login: semods4@yahoo.com; pw= speakeasy)

>> Large Scale Biology Corp., a pioneer in transgenic plant-based therapeutic proteins and vaccines, has become the latest casualty in the field of ?pharming,? or producing therapeutic proteins, antibodies, and vaccines from transgenic plants. After running out of funds in late December, the company dismissed all 78 staff members in Vacaville, Ca. and 23 employees from its commercial-scale biomanufacturing facility in Owensboro, Ky. ? and left analysts speculating about the future of the shrinking field....

Robert Erwin, a company founder and chairman, said the major problem Large Scale faced was reluctance from drug companies to having their products developed in crops to cut costs, without knowing how the Food and Drug Administration would view any resulting new drug applications. "We really miscalculated on the motivations that a pharmaceutical company would have to reduce the cost of manufacturing biotech products," Erwin told The Scientist. "Right now there's not much incentive for large pharmaceutical companies to worry about either prices or cost because they can price products however they choose." << (Emphasis added -- DAK)

Were there reasonable price controls in place (or were the new Medicare program not specifically blocked from using its volume power to force lower prices), then the laws of supply and demand (and fair pricing) might apply to the American drug industry!

-- Dave K, Speakeasy Moderator
click here to email semods4@yahoo.com

The opinions expressed above are my own,
and do not necessarily reflect those of CNET!
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Wait a sec...
by dirtyrich / January 17, 2006 4:10 AM PST

Price controls CAUSE normal application of supply and demand principles? Wow, I guess I'll have to go back and inform my college economics professor that he made a mistake.

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Sheeze, Dave..........
by Mac McMullen / January 17, 2006 4:23 AM PST

Is there EVER, ANYTHING, taking place in this world that doesn't upset you ? Happy

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yup when
by Mark5019 / January 17, 2006 4:32 AM PST
In reply to: Sheeze, Dave..........

when people call bush a terriost

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Should this be
by Dan McC / January 17, 2006 4:34 AM PST
In reply to: Sheeze, Dave..........

considered taunging or baiting?

Dan

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should this
by Mark5019 / January 17, 2006 4:35 AM PST
In reply to: Should this be

considered taunging or baiting?

mark

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(NT) (NT) Yes, so please stop.
by Edward ODaniel / January 17, 2006 4:37 AM PST
In reply to: Should this be
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Strange that you avoided any apparent recognition of...
by Edward ODaniel / January 17, 2006 4:44 AM PST
the major problem Large Scale faced was reluctance from drug companies to having their products developed in crops to cut costs, without knowing how the Food and Drug Administration would view any resulting new drug applications.

Which explains one solid reason for the drug companies reluctance and would not have been any less of a consideration (most likely more of one) were there artificial price controls coupled with run-a-way litigation against the drug companies for drugs the FDA had already approved.

Economics like the military, science, and Constitution appear to not be among your strong suites.
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Yeah cuz that's worked SOOOOOOOOOO well ...
by Evie / January 17, 2006 6:48 AM PST

... for vaccines! NOT!

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