Friday, March 27, 2009

Great Pharma Humanism

So today while reading the news online I saw an advertisement for a new drug from a big pharmaceutical company named Allergan. Before I reveal the name and purpose of the new drug, let me share with you some statements from Allergan's website about their honorable mission...

From the main page: "We combine this strategic focus with a diversified approach that enables us to follow our research and development into new specialty areas where unmet needs are significant."

"We know we are successful... when our efforts make a meaningful difference in the lives of the patients and communities we serve."

From the about us page: "With a heritage of nearly 60 years of discovery and research, our products have made a meaningful difference in how medical conditions are treated and in the quality of patients' lives worldwide.

From the Research & Development page: "We vigorously invest in research and development to discover and develop new treatments that meet the needs of specialty doctors and their patients.
Allergan's world-class research and development (R&D) program embodies our efforts to bring the best of medicine to life."

"research and development expense was $1,055.5 million ($1 billion), $388.3 million, $342.9 million, $762.6 million and $232.7 million in 2006, 2005, 2004, 2003 and 2002 respectively."

So with that great humanitarian vision and massive investment in research and development Allergan recently announced FDA approval of their newest 'meaningful' medicine Latisse for the treatment of the previously unmet needs of patients suffering from hypotrichosis...

Hypotrichosis... definition: inadequate or insufficient eyelashes.

Yes, we now have an FDA approved pharmaceutical to help people get fuller, longer, darker lashes...

What a freaking crock! While people are suffering and dying from all forms of disease, and ordinary citizens are giving money out of their relative poverty to support research, Allergan is investing millions and millions of dollars to create prescription strength mascara!!!

Allergan is not all bad. They are making some donations to the Make-a-wish foundation, and some of their other drugs and pipeline potential drugs have some real value. But seriously... mascara! MASCARA!

At least doctors won't have to wait for 7 years for the patent to expire in order to prescribe a generic. Maybe I can line up some free samples of Covergirl or Maybeline to give to my poorer patients.

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