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Many of us are under the perception that the pharmaceutical industry is an industry of innovation

to improve and restore the health of others. Not necessarily.

It has been said by others that the pharmaceutical industry should not have government
regulation or any interference from our government because that would drastically limit if not
eliminate innovation as well as our health care choices and options, both from the perspective of
the doctor and the patient, so the public has been told often by others.

The inference is that the public’s health would be limited and possibly harmed from such
mandated control regarding this health care issue. As with other issues we face as citizens, this is
another attempt by these others to apparently install fabricated fear in our minds- void of any
proof or reason, quite possibly.

As it has turned out, the pharmaceutical industry has appeared to have created what was claimed
to be undesirable results on their own, overall. Innovation by the pharmaceutical industry
appears limited. Managed care, another for profit organization, limits our health care choices and
options, in one way or another. And unfortunately, harm has been caused by this industry to
others. Seems the government was not needed for these conclusions by such corporations to
thrive regardless.

Over the past several years, those few meds created and FDA approved with true therapeutic
advantages happened by research and discovery with government involvement in possibly over
half of these meds with clear clinical and novel advantages for certain patients, it is believed.

Conversely, of the new chemical entities approved lately and developed by drug companies, over
50 percent of these have microscopic therapeutic advantage for patients, so I understand upon
information and belief, and these meds have become known as me too drugs. This inefficient or
lack of drug research by the pharmaceutical industry has created what is now the dominant
development strategy of drug companies, and this strategy is the development of certain
medications that would allow a me too drug to be profitable, so it seems.

With these me too medications, drug companies essentially make small molecular variations of
an original molecule in a particular class of medications to begin development of their cloned
drug. In other words, they tweak the original molecular design in a new member of a particular
class of medications, with the hope of profit, yet absent of true innovation.

This me too objective of drug companies now accounts, I believe, for about 80 percent of the
research budgets of drug companies. And because the FDA only requires a potential med to be
superior to a placebo in at least two mandatory clinical trials, usually these me too meds are
approved- regardless of their necessity for others regarding their treatment regimens, and
because of this, drugs in a class become plentiful and numerous, as usually these drugs are
members of a very lucrative class of medications.

So it seems that the me too drugs are selected by the drug company for their potential
blockbuster status as well as the speculated growth of a particular market, which means the drug
company intends on making over 1 billion dollars a year on such a drug, at least, which happens
at times with me too drugs due to the size of a particular market.

For example, statin drugs, for high cholesterol patients, is a 20 billion dollar market, it is
believed. As a result, there are several statin meds now available for use by doctors to prescribe
to their patients. Yet, arguably, me too drugs are all essentially very similar in regards to safety,
efficacy, and cost, regardless of the class referred to that is so often saturated with me too meds,
with few exceptions.

The differences overall are minor once again with most me too drugs, and competition certainly
exists between them. As aggressive marketers, the makers of these meds are suspected of doing a
bit of publication planning at times to falsely claim superiority of their newly approved me too
drug over all the other drugs in a particular class through statistical gymnastics, perhaps.

In addition to statin drugs, other classes of meds with several me too drugs may include SSRI
anti-depressant drugs, as well as those meds for hypertension, such as a class called ARBs. There
may be a dozen drugs in a particular class that are all essentially the same in regards to their
treatment abilities for patients with such disease states, as well as their mechanisms of action. On
rare occasion, a me too drug might actually superior, such as Lipitor. Then again, a me too
potentially could be more toxic as well.

Also, there may be cases where a patient tolerates one drug in a class over another for unknown
reasons, so in these few cases, the me too drugs occasionally are beneficial for patients, but
should absolutely not be a primary objective of the drug companies to create them as often as
they do, one could posit. Instead, true innovation and discovery should be the focus of
pharmaceutical companies, and this seems to be absent and void of existence today compared
with their objectives they had in the past.

Further vexing is that competition in the pharmaceutical industry amazingly does not and has not
been of any financial benefit for the consumer, as competition normally does create, as price
differences in certain classes of medications are minimal at best. This fact of price reduction is
normally demonstrated with other industries and is the apex of business operations.

With the pharmaceutical company, one could conclude that its industry is one of collusion with
its colleagues than actual competition that benefits the patients. This pharmaceutical industry
model is an exception to what is a typical result that happens in other industries, and the reason
for this remains an unknown, as far as the etiology of patients being deprived of this costly
disadvantage. The etiology maybe can be explained by one who is an expert in economics, yet
my opinion is that of a layperson regarding this issue.

This progressive marketing paradigm of the pharmaceutical industry, such as the creation of me
too meds solely for their own profit, clearly illustrates their apparent focus on these issues over
true research and science. Innovation, along with ethics, use to define this pharmaceutical
industry.

Sadly, it seems this is not the case today, which ultimately and potentially deprives potential
treatment methods and products for the public health. Yet hopefully, such historical qualities of
drug companies will return some time, which would require a paradigm shift that does not appear
to be happening presently.

"Tell a lie loud enough and long enough and people will believe it" --- Adolph Hitler
Dan Abshear