Friday, May 02, 2008

Which is full of squares.

Army Pants Girl: We have been walking in circles forever, eh?
Plaid Shorts Guy: Yeah, don't talk to me about circles. I don't know about them - I'm in Science.

-- overheard by Rachel


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Better clothing than Lululemon and Hollister!

12:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Science is an inferior faculty to the Richard Ivey School of Business.

8:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Right, hope that comforts you when you have your stroke 30 years from now.

12:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Only Ivey students could possibly believe that. Everyone else on the planet understands that science is more important than business, even an economics student like myself.

12:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Truthfully, 95% of economics students are wannabe Ivey students.

12:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I guess I'm one of the 5%. I would've easily gotten into Ivey, but I'm really only interested in economics.

Oh yeah...I also don't want to be surrounded by dickheads all day.

2:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

2:19: "I would've easily gotten into Ivey."

Uh-huh. Sure you would've.

4:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't you only need a 90 average in high school to get into Ivey? Or an 85% average to switch in after second year? Done and done.

6:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

who cares about Ivey, its just a bunch of rich idots tring to ruin the country.

1:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When science students are making all their money in pharmaceuticals and curing diseases, maybe you'll get to manage their money and see how much more you could have made instead of going to Ivey.

(just to fuel the fires and get elitist Ivey assholes on the defensive)

2:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually, business grads get rich off the backs of science grads. It's rare that scientists reap even a sliver of the full monetary benefit of their discoveries.

If you're a scientist working for a large pharmaceutical and you create a breakthrough drug, your employment contract will stipulate that your work is the intellectual property of the company. Sure, the company will probably give you a handsome bonus. But it's the company (and its investors) who will make the billions.

6:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Which is why we have drug resistant TB and other modern epidemics, as well as drugs being pulled off the market less than years after they were created (perhaps pushed through before adequate safety was ascertained?). Break-through drugs are created and those who most need them (invariably the poor) can't get access to them. Banting understood this and refused to patent insulin. In the meantime, people can't offord their drugs, don't take full courses, and drug resistance flourishes, and then we have epidemics etc.
I think the anti-Ivey point is this: yes you're getting rich on the backs of science students, arts students, etc. But your profit comes at the cost, in this case of,potentially thousands of lives. Us meds frequently joke (albeit somewhat bitterly), about the irony of creating a drug/treatment and then refusing to give it those who need it. You can call me a socialist (I'm sure you will), but in a time of worldwide travel and migration, these diseases will affect us all. It's common sense to try to eradicate them, but immediate profit always tends to outweigh that. Enjoy your billions, and stay away from people coughing.

3:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

^ I'm an Ivey student, and I completely agree with you that it does seem pretty f*cked up that people die because they can't afford the prices set by pharmaceutical companies.

On the other hand, there is an underlying economic logic as to why pharmaceuticals patent drugs and charge premium prices: the costs of developing and commercializing a new drug are enormous (sometimes running into the billions of dollars), especially when you take into account that successful drugs have to compensate for the dozens of failed efforts. If there was no patent protection and we permitted generics to instantly copy brand-name chemicals, then the major drug companies would have absolutely zero incentive to pour hundreds of millions into new drug creation. Subsequently, no new drugs would come out and a lot MORE people would die.

I suppose you could say the entire drug development process could be funded by the government, but government = brutally inefficient, and the costs would drive taxes through the roof.

So while on the face of it, pharmaceuticals appear greedy and villainous for patenting their drugs, in the long run it's a necessary evil.

10:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A necessary evil yes - but there is a line. In my undergrad, the "poor pharma" card was played relentlessly - how expensive it is to develop drugs etc. And it's true, it is expensive.
However, their profits are also through the roof. Bringing down the price on the handful of drugs necessary to combat some of the most prevalent infections - TB (isoniazid was developed in the 50's, I think they've recovered the costs of developing it by now), malaria, etc would probably not bankrupt them. Perhaps if less money was spent on advertising (to the public in the US, to physicians in Canada) and politcal lobbying (one of the biggest contributors to American politcal campaigns) more would be available for lowering prices.
There is a role for government involvement though. We're a lot more regulated than the US, and thus, people have better access to prescription drugs, even though both countries don't cover all prescription costs (although I believe OHIP covers some). We unfortunately live in a country that is hopelessly backwards in terms of funding scientific development - perhaps if more money (which they keep saying is coming) was put into the hands of researchers, with governments sitting back a bit, this could be overcome. And higher taxes are not the worst thing in the world - countries such as Sweden and Germany with higher taxes tend to have good standards of living because things that would normally have to be paid for by the individual are covered (i.e. high quality childcare).
And it's a hell of a lot more expensive to develop new drugs for drug resistant strains. What I'm seeing is an ideal of the most possible profit at all costs, and a lack of long term thinking. As someone who has been to the third world with a medical team, I just can't support equating the lives of thousands of people with having a little less profit. I get the feeling that the necessary evil argument, while well reasoned, is also merely a way of placating oneself against pangs of guilt.

2:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why don't you just go into medicine so you can make money and do something useful?

11:41 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home