HIV Vaccine or Cure Being Intentionally Withheld for Pharmaceutical Companies to Remain Profitable?

  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Dec 09, 2010 9:21 AM GMT
    I was reading this article from a magazine (wish I could remember which one) which compared the progress of finding a HIV vaccine or cure to the development of fuel efficient cars. Essentially it talked about how the big oil companies pressed the government to can technology discovered 50 or so years ago which made cars more fuel efficient just for the sake of keeping the oil companies profitable and that the same thing is happening to discoveries made for the advancement of HIV cures/vaccines. The author believes that the pharmaceutical companies do not want a find a cure or vaccine since they are making a huge profit off of selling treatment medication. Particularly since they are able to sell their medication to someone who is positive for remaining of that person's life.

    I wish I could remember where the article came to provide more details. I've thought about in the past but this article shed some new conspiracy light. I would hate to think this actually is a good possibility but who knows. I don't think there is cure or vaccine discovered yet. However, I do believe that there is a possibility that pharmaceuticals are intentionally focusing more on treatments than a cure/vaccine. What do you guys think?

  • DCEric

    Posts: 3713

    Dec 09, 2010 12:44 PM GMT
    I could see that being true, but unlike pharmaceutical companies, the oil companies were resisting the technology that the car companies were developing. In this case the pharmaceutical companies are talking about their own developments, and the developments of national governments.

    In other words, the oil companies were resisting advancement in other companies that would only benefit the other companies. Pharmaceutical companies would be resisting their own developments. Something that they would make money from, but in a different way. Thus there is less pressure. That also doesn't seem to be happening as there are a host of companies, and governments worldwide that seem to keep inching closer and closer to vaccines and cures. A number of these drugs have gone to trial. So unless the news media are in on the scam too, it seems unlikely to me.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Dec 09, 2010 12:48 PM GMT
    It wouldnt surprise me at all that drug companies are trying to influence legislation to protect their profits. Its horrible and wrong but we have heard the story a bunch of times.

    I am part of a nationwide HIV vaccine study right now and I travel to Orlando monthly to be injected and have blood drawn to be tested against live virus (outside my body). Hopefully progress will be made thru these independent immunology centers and push the cause forward.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Dec 09, 2010 1:42 PM GMT
    Healthcare is a FOR PROFIT BUSINESS in the US. Bottom line for companies is to make HUGE profits. There is no incentive for BIG PHARMA to develop a cure for HIV. They would lose money. And that works against their business model.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Dec 09, 2010 1:45 PM GMT
    Yeah there totally wouldn't be any profits in vaccinating 9 billion people from HIV.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Dec 09, 2010 2:07 PM GMT
    pre_mortem saidYeah there totally wouldn't be any profits in vaccinating 9 billion people from HIV.


    Not much money in vaccines. HIV drugs taken for a lifetime, however, are a cash cow.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Dec 09, 2010 2:31 PM GMT
    Big Pharma are indeed companies, not charities.

    But as far as HIV vaccine goes, I don't know the exact figures, but I can imagine that the financial potential would be just huge.

    We are talking about billion of potential clients.

    Chronic diseases are indeed 'good' for big pharma, as patients take drug for life, but it's interesting only if the target population is large enough. I suspect there is a lot more money to make out of the vaccine that out of antiviral treatments, not to say the antiviral market is competitive.

    Next, the biologist/medical team who will find a vaccine will become instantly famous worldwide, 'nobelisable', so the motivation of researchers on this field is very strong.

    Last, paludism, which kill the same amount of people per year, and have been for a very long time, still have no vaccine, despite intensive effort. Creating a vaccine is not always simple, and specially not in case of HIV, which target the immune system itself.

    I'm not sure paranoia should play for HIV vaccine, the wait is frustrating, but some medical issues are very complex.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Dec 09, 2010 2:46 PM GMT
    Do you know how many viruses we're actually able to cure?

    One. We can only cure Hepatitis C, or HCV, and that's only partially effective about half the time. We can create vaccines to prevent infection, but we cannot cure viral infections. HIV, like HCV, is a virus.

    I really don't think there's a conspiracy afoot when they can make money by creating an HIV vaccine.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Dec 09, 2010 2:57 PM GMT
    This staff is NOT the staff of Asculapius, the greek patron of medicine:

    medicine-staff.png

    YOu see it everywhere in the health care industry, but guess what.. its the staf of Hermes...

    hermes.gif


    And rather than representing medicine, it represents communication and COMMERCE

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Staff_of_Hermes


    Below is the TRUE staff of medicine,

    staff+of+aesculapius.gif

    Its carried by Aesculapius, the god of healing

    aesculapius.png

    Depending on which staff you choose in your logo, it becomes clear where your allegiance lies.. to commerce or medicine, but never to both ;)

    http://www.drblayney.com/Asclepius.html



  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Dec 09, 2010 3:32 PM GMT
    All of the comments are thought provoking and may be true..which icon_cry.gif very much. There must be someone willing to do the right thing...let's pray there is!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Dec 09, 2010 3:33 PM GMT
    Oh I don't doubt it at all... it makes me furious to think about it. icon_mad.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Dec 09, 2010 3:33 PM GMT
    minox saidBig Pharma are indeed companies, not charities.

    But as far as HIV vaccine goes, I don't know the exact figures, but I can imagine that the financial potential would be just huge.

    We are talking about billion of potential clients.

    Chronic diseases are indeed 'good' for big pharma, as patients take drug for life, but it's interesting only if the target population is large enough. I suspect there is a lot more money to make out of the vaccine that out of antiviral treatments, not to say the antiviral market is competitive.

    Next, the biologist/medical team who will find a vaccine will become instantly famous worldwide, 'nobelisable', so the motivation of researchers on this field is very strong.

    Last, paludism, which kill the same amount of people per year, and have been for a very long time, still have no vaccine, despite intensive effort. Creating a vaccine is not always simple, and specially not in case of HIV, which target the immune system itself.

    I'm not sure paranoia should play for HIV vaccine, the wait is frustrating, but some medical issues are very complex.


    Vaccine: $30 (one time fee)
    HIV Drugs: $1500+ (per month for a lifetime)

    Easy to see where the profits lie.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Dec 09, 2010 4:03 PM GMT
    The drug companies aren't the only ones conducting this research.

    Plus, they have plenty of diseases to make money off of. Even if it were true that companies didn't want to end the profitable HIV "therapy" route, what is also clearly true is that some firm would profit greatly from producing a cure or a foolproof vaccine if one existed. As powerful as the drug companies may be, they aren't powerful enough to squelch a great idea forever.

    So it seems almost inevitable that a cure/vaccine would prevail over the current HIV treatment regime. I'll change that "would" to a "will."
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Dec 09, 2010 4:35 PM GMT
    catfish5 said
    minox saidBig Pharma are indeed companies, not charities.

    But as far as HIV vaccine goes, I don't know the exact figures, but I can imagine that the financial potential would be just huge.

    We are talking about billion of potential clients.

    Chronic diseases are indeed 'good' for big pharma, as patients take drug for life, but it's interesting only if the target population is large enough. I suspect there is a lot more money to make out of the vaccine that out of antiviral treatments, not to say the antiviral market is competitive.

    Next, the biologist/medical team who will find a vaccine will become instantly famous worldwide, 'nobelisable', so the motivation of researchers on this field is very strong.

    Last, paludism, which kill the same amount of people per year, and have been for a very long time, still have no vaccine, despite intensive effort. Creating a vaccine is not always simple, and specially not in case of HIV, which target the immune system itself.

    I'm not sure paranoia should play for HIV vaccine, the wait is frustrating, but some medical issues are very complex.


    Vaccine: $30 (one time fee)
    HIV Drugs: $1500+ (per month for a lifetime)

    Easy to see where the profits lie.


    It's not as if the vaccine would suppress the drug revenue.
    People under treatment today will still be under treatment if a vaccine is found, vaccine don't 'cure', it just avoid infection.

    Even with the vaccine, you will have new people infected, many vaccine offer only partial protection, and a lot of people won't get vaccinated anyway.

    You can expect a decrease over time of the drug revenue, but it will be over many years, while vaccine money would be immediate cash. Board members tend to prefer immediate cash, and the vaccine will give yearly revenue too.

    There is no vaccine, so we don't know what it would cost. the usual prices range from 12 to 100$, and many need several injections, some need regular 'refresh' (like tetanos every ten years).
    Assume conservative, one shot 50$

    There is a estimate 5 millions HIV persons using tritherapy, worldwide, so, for 12 month :

    1500 * 12 * 5 000 000 = 90 billions $ per year

    There is around 4 billion people in 15/65 age range, good estimate for sexually active population.

    Vaccine half of them :

    50 * 2 000 000 000 = 100 billions $

    There around 130 million birth per year good estimate for annual maintenance:

    50 * 130 000 000 = 6.5 billion $

    The conservative estimate is still a huge amount of cash, and if you play with the figures (vaccine more expensive, several shot), you can easily multiply by ten the potential incomes.

    You really think any Big Pharma board would forbid vaccine research ?
    They share with competitors the drug treatment market, but could make all the money vaccine just for themselves until the patent expire.

    http://www.wholesomewords.org/missions/greatc.html
    http://www.avert.org/universal-access.htm
    http://www.xist.org/earth/pop_agestruc.aspx
    http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/programs/vfc/cdc-vac-price-list.htm






  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Dec 09, 2010 4:36 PM GMT
    pre_mortem saidYeah there totally wouldn't be any profits in vaccinating 9 billion people from HIV.


    Keep in mind that not everyone will feel the need to get the vaccine. If the vaccine can curb infection rates in the high risk population then chances are the low risk population will have their risk of infection be even lower, therefore they will not feel the need to get vaccinated.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Dec 09, 2010 4:41 PM GMT
    AvadaKedavra said
    pre_mortem saidYeah there totally wouldn't be any profits in vaccinating 9 billion people from HIV.


    Keep in mind that not everyone will feel the need to get the vaccine. If the vaccine can curb infection rates in the high risk population then chances are the low risk population will have their risk of infection be even lower, therefore they will not feel the need to get vaccinated.


    This is true. Also consider that HIV patients must take the drugs despite any side effects or risk probable death. HIV vaccine may have some long term side effect that may not come to light for many years- so people outside of high risk groups won't be running out to get the vaccine for fear of future possible negative implications.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Dec 09, 2010 4:53 PM GMT
    minox said
    catfish5 said
    minox saidBig Pharma are indeed companies, not charities.

    But as far as HIV vaccine goes, I don't know the exact figures, but I can imagine that the financial potential would be just huge.

    We are talking about billion of potential clients.

    Chronic diseases are indeed 'good' for big pharma, as patients take drug for life, but it's interesting only if the target population is large enough. I suspect there is a lot more money to make out of the vaccine that out of antiviral treatments, not to say the antiviral market is competitive.

    Next, the biologist/medical team who will find a vaccine will become instantly famous worldwide, 'nobelisable', so the motivation of researchers on this field is very strong.

    Last, paludism, which kill the same amount of people per year, and have been for a very long time, still have no vaccine, despite intensive effort. Creating a vaccine is not always simple, and specially not in case of HIV, which target the immune system itself.

    I'm not sure paranoia should play for HIV vaccine, the wait is frustrating, but some medical issues are very complex.


    Vaccine: $30 (one time fee)
    HIV Drugs: $1500+ (per month for a lifetime)

    Easy to see where the profits lie.


    It's not as if the vaccine would suppress the drug revenue.
    People under treatment today will still be under treatment if a vaccine is found, vaccine don't 'cure', it just avoid infection.

    Even with the vaccine, you will have new people infected, many vaccine offer only partial protection, and a lot of people won't get vaccinated anyway.

    You can expect a decrease over time of the drug revenue, but it will be over many years, while vaccine money would be immediate cash. Board members tend to prefer immediate cash, and the vaccine will give yearly revenue too.

    There is no vaccine, so we don't know what it would cost. the usual prices range from 12 to 100$, and many need several injections, some need regular 'refresh' (like tetanos every ten years).
    Assume conservative, one shot 50$

    There is a estimate 5 millions HIV persons using tritherapy, worldwide, so, for 12 month :

    1500 * 12 * 5 000 000 = 90 billions $ per year

    There is around 4 billion people in 15/65 age range, good estimate for sexually active population.

    Vaccine half of them :

    50 * 2 000 000 000 = 100 billions $

    There around 130 million birth per year good estimate for annual maintenance:

    50 * 130 000 000 = 6.5 billion $

    The conservative estimate is still a huge amount of cash, and if you play with the figures (vaccine more expensive, several shot), you can easily multiply by ten the potential incomes.

    You really think any Big Pharma board would forbid vaccine research ?
    They share with competitors the drug treatment market, but could make all the money vaccine just for themselves until the patent expire.

    http://www.wholesomewords.org/missions/greatc.html
    http://www.avert.org/universal-access.htm
    http://www.xist.org/earth/pop_agestruc.aspx
    http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/programs/vfc/cdc-vac-price-list.htm








    Subtract research costs from the vaccine revenue- lowers the profit margin significantly. And if a vaccine was found, a possible cure is more than likely not far behind- there goes profits from lifetime drug therapy.

    While research is being done on a vaccine and cure for HIV, it's not a pressing priority. Seems like the priority is newer and more expensive drugs to replace the older drugs whose patents will be expiring soon.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Dec 09, 2010 5:16 PM GMT
    It has been ten years since I worked in that business, but in that time, big pharma estimated complete development cost between 300 and 700 million $ (some believe they artificially inflate those numbers) , and it took around 8 year, from discovery to market.

    They expected a minimum 1 million$ per day revenue to give it a go.

    Would you invest half a billion to get hundred of billions ?

    And science/research part is insignificant in that bill, most of the cost is in the testing/validation, clinical studies.

    Finding a vaccine is not directly related to finding a cure. There is no cure for the flu, or for a cold. you have drugs, yes, but they don't cure you, at the end of the day, it's till your immune system which does the job.

    I agree that a vaccine would not fix everything. Yes, some people would not vaccinate, expecting other to do it, classical.
    Also, bareback comeback could lead to more and more antibio resistant STD.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Dec 09, 2010 5:26 PM GMT
    minox saidIt has been ten years since I worked in that business, but in that time, big pharma estimated complete development cost between 300 and 700 million $ (some believe they artificially inflate those numbers) , and it took around 8 year, from discovery to market.

    They expected a minimum 1 million$ per day revenue to give it a go.

    Would you invest half a billion to get hundred of billions ?

    And science/research part is insignificant in that bill, most of the cost is in the testing/validation, clinical studies.

    Finding a vaccine is not directly related to finding a cure. There is no cure for the flu, or for a cold. you have drugs, yes, but they don't cure you, at the end of the day, it's till your immune system which does the job.

    I agree that a vaccine would not fix everything. Yes, some people would not vaccinate, expecting other to do it, classical.
    Also, bareback comeback could lead to more and more antibio resistant STD.


    1 million in revenue per day? Who besides gay men will get immediately vaccinated unless legislation is passed that mandates the vaccination? Do you need to add lobbying costs to total cost of the vaccine? And what if vaccinated individuals start showing signs of MS or some other auto immune disorder that doesn't rear its head for about 5 years down the line? There go the profits. I agree with the OP on this issue. Don't see a vaccine or cure as a pressing priority. The $$$ lies in new and better drugs.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Dec 09, 2010 5:38 PM GMT
    Aids is not just an USA problem, but a world wide pandemy.
    USA citizen have (barely) the economic power to pay HIV drug, but most the rest of the world don't.

    For the majority of of HIV positive people, drugs are not an option, even generic ones, and most government can't afford the cost in social security program.
    If you are a government, and think in nation health interest, the vaccine is not something to discard, and for many, the only option.

    As tragic as the situation is in Africa and Asia, from a big pharma point of view, it's a business opportunity. Because governments would by vaccine to save their population

  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Dec 09, 2010 5:53 PM GMT
    minox saidAids is not just an USA problem, but a world wide pandemy.
    USA citizen have (barely) the economic power to pay HIV drug, but most the rest of the world don't.

    For the majority of of HIV positive people, drugs are not an option, even generic ones, and most government can't afford the cost in social security program.
    If you are a government, and think in nation health interest, the vaccine is not something to discard, and for many, the only option.

    As tragic as the situation is in Africa and Asia, from a big pharma point of view, it's a business opportunity. Because governments would by vaccine to save their population



    Would poor governments in Africa and Asia really buy the vaccine when they can utilize the AIDS epidemic for depopulation, genocide, and population control for political and economic gain?.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Dec 09, 2010 6:04 PM GMT
    AvadaKedavra saidI was reading this article from a magazine (wish I could remember which one) which compared the progress of finding a HIV vaccine or cure to the development of fuel efficient cars. Essentially it talked about how the big oil companies pressed the government to can technology discovered 50 or so years ago which made cars more fuel efficient just for the sake of keeping the oil companies profitable and that the same thing is happening to discoveries made for the advancement of HIV cures/vaccines. The author believes that the pharmaceutical companies do not want a find a cure or vaccine since they are making a huge profit off of selling treatment medication. Particularly since they are able to sell their medication to someone who is positive for remaining of that person's life.

    I wish I could remember where the article came to provide more details. I've thought about in the past but this article shed some new conspiracy light. I would hate to think this actually is a good possibility but who knows. I don't think there is cure or vaccine discovered yet. However, I do believe that there is a possibility that pharmaceuticals are intentionally focusing more on treatments than a cure/vaccine. What do you guys think?



    A biology professor once told me the idea is plausible but not probable because of how the scientific community is so intertwined and connected, that it would be almost impossible for other scientists, who share information amongst each other, to not let the cat out of the bag.

    I kind of thought her answer was a little lame...

  • Anto

    Posts: 2035

    Dec 09, 2010 6:23 PM GMT
    catfish5 said

    Vaccine: $30 (one time fee)
    HIV Drugs: $1500+ (per month for a lifetime)

    Easy to see where the profits lie.


    Yes but someone has to be infected with HIV and able to afford treatment for that profit to exist verses everyone who would be willing to be vaccinated against catching the disease to begin with which would be a much larger population I would think don't you?

    And what if vaccinated individuals start showing signs of MS or some other auto immune disorder that doesn't rear its head for about 5 years down the line? There go the profits.

    There are side effects to the current treatment but if we are cynical about motives wouldn't complications from an HIV vaccine just mean more potential for revenue in the medical industry?
  • Anto

    Posts: 2035

    Dec 09, 2010 6:31 PM GMT
    However, I do believe that there is a possibility that pharmaceuticals are intentionally focusing more on treatments than a cure/vaccine. What do you guys think?

    Maybe but it could also be that it's easier to halt or slow down the virus than make people immune to it and since people are dying, halting or slowing it down saves them so it gets more focus vs trying to find a vaccine and letting people die or only survive with lesser quality of life in the process.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Dec 09, 2010 6:35 PM GMT
    When watching how pharmaceutical companies strategize, you always have to look at which long term venture is more profitable...or at least predictable to a risk averse group of decision makers.