Patent Woes Threaten the Real Death Panels i.e. Drug Firms

Where the rich elite sees revenue streams from the poor to the rich those of us who have no health insurance and can’t afford to pay what the greedy bastards want face early death.

Perhaps it is time for the working people to fight back in the class war the rich are waging upon us.

The New York Times:

Published: March 6, 2011

At the end of November, Pfizer stands to lose a $10-billion-a-year revenue stream when the patent on its blockbuster drug Lipitor expires and cheaper generics begin to cut into the company’s huge sales.

The loss poses a daunting challenge for Pfizer, one shared by nearly every major pharmaceutical company. This year alone, because of patent expirations, the drug industry will lose control over more than 10 megamedicines whose combined annual sales have neared $50 billion.

This is a sobering reversal for an industry that just a few years ago was the world’s most profitable business sector. And it casts a spotlight on the systemic problems drug companies now face: a drought of blockbuster drug breakthroughs and research discoveries; pressure from insurers and the government to hold down prices; regulatory vigilance and government investigations; thousands of layoffs in research and development; and a new federal program to eventually allow generic versions of expensive biologic drugs.

Morgan Stanley recently downgraded the entire group of multinational pharmaceutical companies based in Europe — AstraZeneca, Bayer, GlaxoSmithKline, Novartis, Novo Nordisk and Roche — in a report titled “An Avalanche of Risk? Downgrading to Cautious.” The analysts wrote, “The operating environment for pharma is worsening rapidly.”

The same concerns apply to drug giants in the United States. They are all struggling with research failures as they scramble to replace their cash cows, like Pfizer’s multimillion-dollar gamble on a replacement for the cholesterol-lowering drug Lipitor, which failed miserably in clinical trials. Drug companies cut 53,000 jobs last year and 61,000 in 2009, far more than most other sectors, according to the outplacement company Challenger, Gray & Christmas.

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Here’s a suggestion:  No CEO earns more than 25 times what the lowest paid employee earns.

Tax capital gains at the same rate the pay checks of working people are taxed at.

Nationalize the Health Industry and Socialize it.

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Respect For Other Cultures Does Not Include Permitting People to Kill Whales or Engage in Wiping Out an Entire Species

As people who regularly read my blog know, I wholeheartedly support Sea Shepherd, Green Peace, Earth First and the preservation of the Planet.  To the point I do not believe tigers, mountain lions or bears who kill a human who is in their territory should be hunted down and killed.

Indeed I actually support capital punishment for poachers who kill endangered species.

I believe all captive orca and dolphins should be freed and the places using them as a form of entertainment should be closed.

I believe we should outlaw drift net fishing as well as the fishing of certain species with strict limits on other species.

Citing your cultural traditions does not carry any weight with me when it comes to your wanting to dine on California Condor or spotted owl.  Wearing lynx, wolf or other furs show be a sign you wish to be assaulted verbally and with paint.

In short, “Fuck you and your cultural values or love of fur.”  My cultural values place a greater value on the life of the creature on the endangered species list, which by the way is too short, than it does on my accepting your right to kill that animal for your pleasure.

From The New York Times:

Published: March 5, 2011

SAN FRANCISCO — As the proprietor of Chung Chou City, a packed-to-the-gills dried seafood emporium in Chinatown here, Anna Li presides over barrels full of coveted ingredients like dried shrimp eggs and scallops and fried fish stomachs.

The Rolls-Royce of the sea is her shark’s fin, the pricey pièce de résistance of traditional Chinese banquets. “No shark’s fin soup, you’re cheap,” said Mrs. Li, summing up the prevailing ethos toward the steamy glutinous broth, for centuries a symbol of virility, wealth and power.

But in a move that has infuriated Mrs. Li and others in this community, a bill recently introduced in the California Legislature would ban the sale and possession of shark fins, including the serving of shark’s fin soup. Down the rickety alleyways and produce-laden byways of San Francisco’s Chinatown, some see the proposed law as a cultural assault — a sort of Chinese Exclusion Act in a bowl.

Similar to a measure passed in Hawaii, the bill seeks to curtail shark finning, a brutal, bloody practice of the global trade in which the fins are typically hacked off a live shark, leaving it to die slowly as it sinks to the bottom of the sea.

In Hawaii, restaurants have until June 30 to cook or dispose of their fin inventories, and penalties for possession will be severe, with fines of $5,000 to $15,000 for a first offense. Similar bills were introduced in Oregon and Washington State.

Scientists cite a growing international demand for shark’s fin soup, especially popular with China’s expanding middle class. As the once-ceremonial dish becomes more accessible, up to 73 million sharks are being killed a year.

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Crowd cheers returning Sea Shepherd activists

From ABC (Australia) News:

March 6, 2011

Sea Shepherd anti-whaling activists have arrived in Hobart to a cheering crowd after hailing victory in the Southern Ocean.

The Japanese whaling fleet abandoned its annual hunt a month early citing harassment by the environmentalists.

Anti-whaling vessels Bob Barker and Steve Irwin docked at Macquarie Wharf and were greeted by a crowd of clapping supporters.

Greens leader Bob Brown was at the dock to thank captain Paul Watson.

“Australia’s in a very festive mood today to welcome you back here and congratulations,” he said.

Mr Watson says this season’s success in forcing the Japanese whalers to leave the Southern Ocean early was a result of seven years of activism in the ocean.

“We didn’t do anything differently this year, in fact this is probably the most non-eventful campaign that we’ve had,” he said.

He says he is hopeful the whalers will not return to the Southern Ocean next season.

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Saturday Night Hootenanny

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Is New England The New Hotbed For Marijuana Law Reform?

From NORMAL Blog:

By: Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director
March 4th, 2011

The northeast has historically been a hotbed for marijuana use — with five of the six New England states self-reporting some of the highest percentages of marijuana consumption in the nation. But recently New England has also become a regional leader in marijuana law reform.

Lawmakers in every New England state are now debating marijuana law reform legislation. Here’s a closer look at what’s happening.

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