jeudi 23 janvier 2020

Where capitalism can lead

I don't believe in communism. I don't even really believe in socialism. But, as time goes, I believe less and less in capitalism.

Frankly, there's a lot of companies that only want more and more profit. We've seen dishonest practices for decades for many businesses. Recently, we've seen that with Valeant (well, it was maybe more immoral than dishonest), with Wells Fargo, with Volkswagen, and many, many others.

The most disgusting industry is probably the one I liked the more, not so long ago: the pharma industry.

Let's take a look at my current experience:

With my Crohn's disease, I began a treatment with a cheap drug. However, it made me feel ill, like a pregnant woman. It wasn't unbearable, but it was nonetheless not very comfortable.

Today, I met my doctor who said to me that we should change the treatment, because that drug didn't work with one patient out of two and it could be harmful in the long term (I said to myself that he could have told me that before, like when he gave me the fucking prescription, but well, it was just 4 months ago).

So, he prescribed me another drug that I'll have to take, like insulin shots (I'll have to prick myself). That new drug would be less harmful with less secondary effects. However, the annual cost of that treatment is about 30 000$.

Yes, 30 000$ for a disease in it's early stage. We're not talking about cancer or AIDS here. We're talking about a relatively common disease which is serious, but not fatal.

My insurance will pay almost all of it. But, come on. Even if my private insurance will finally become profitable for me, it's crazy to pay that price. Who the fuck could pay that price without an insurance or with a condition that doesn't make them coverable by an insurance? That's fucking crazy.

I don't have any financial problems, but without an insurance I'd be out of my fucking mind, thinking about how to pay that sum. Imagine if you have a disease so rare that there's a monopoly with the drug that's used to cure it (it's not the case with Crohn's disease, yet prices are astronomical).

That's capitalism my friends. And as long as you're not sick, you don't give a fuck about it. But, sooner or later, you'll get sick, or someone very close to you will get sick. And that day, you'll see those fucking pharma are not full of cash for nothing.

2 commentaires:

  1. I am sorry to hear that you had treatment issues with you health. I hope that you will feel better.

    I have thought about the issue that you raise quite a lot in the past and still have not reached a conclusion on the topic. In general, I think capitalism is the best system we have invented, even though it is not perfect. Capitalism forces people to be as nice to each other and as helpful to each other as possible and yet still satisfy their personal greed and self-centred hedonism. That is its self-reinforcing and self-correcting magic. People need to innovate, cooperate, and voluntarily exchange things with people they might not know and might not like, otherwise they starve to death or live like destitute peasants who miss out on all of the selfish pleasures the world can offer. It let's us have better lives by specialising, working together, and using the available resources as efficiently as possible, instead of fighting and trying to steal and hoard each other's rocks and sticks (even though our animal instincts still pull us in this direction).

    I will make the same argument as pro-communists do and argue that we never really had pure capitalism in any country (with free market competition, properly enforced property laws, etc - and no, Somalian warlords overseeing the anarchy of the failed state is not an example of a libertarian capitalist paradise) and that is why it has never really worked. Instead we have crony capitalism in a plutocracy - where rich persons (including corporations) use their wealth and influence to seek artificial protection, benefits, and essentially a government-enforced monopoly at the expense of the individual citizens.

    Intellectual property such as patents and copyrights are an example of what I mean. A good idea has thanks to lobbying/corruption turned into the opposite of what it was supposed to do. Instead of promoting innovation by sharing ideas, it is stifling innovation by creating unreasonably long monopolies, patent trolls, and an environment where only multibillionare giant conglomerates can do anything because it is too expensive and bureaucratically challenging to research, test, and bring to the market any medication and if you do not follow the rules, the government will use its guns to stop you.

    Moreover, the pharma companies have realised that they might not even need to do any research and have lobbied for a system where spending more money on marketing, lawyers, and lobbying is more profitable than actually researching better medications or investing in a more efficient supply chain. Instead they get the governments and private foundations to largely fund majority of the basic research and then just muscle them out and buy up the discovery for relatively little money since there are only a few companies able to actually do anything and bring the new discovery into the market. If the scientist who makes the discovery wants to do anything with it, he has to sell out for cheap to the big pharma because the system is set-up that he practically cannot do anything other than sell out (even patents are only viable if there is a team of expensive lawyers chasing anyone who decides to steal them).

    So the pharma companies have used their influence to corrupt the system to gain both direct subsidies by eliminating research expense and also indirect subsidies by creating artificial world-wide IP monopolies. The good news is that all of the above issues might be fixed fairly easily with enough political will. The demographic crisis will eventually push politicians into a corner and force them to act, if they want to keep civil order even if they will lose the juicy campaign contributions because of it. In the meantime, we should still be happy that we have the modern medicine etc. making our lives better and more comfortable, which would most likely not exist or be even less accessible in a non-capitalist system. We all live better than kings and queens used to only a few generations ago.

  2. Par contre les assurances les payent, ces traitements...(une fois le cheap traitement essayé (purinethol j'imagine...))
    Tu verras, le nouveau traitement sera pas mal mieux avec moins d'effets secondaires.

    Tes contributions seront probablement 20% jusqu'à un plafond. Ensuite ce sera 0$


    Love your blog