Today, Twitter Files reporter Lee Fang dropped another installment – this time how Pfizer conspired with multiple so-called rivals. This is yet another conspiracy by Big Pharma – the collection of a small number of large drug makers. The object this time: to suppress any talk of developing a “generic” or “people’s” vaccine. This has nothing to do with where the vaccines work or not – or whether they work, but not as advertised. Instead, this is about capturing a market for brand-name drugs and suppressing the development of an “open-source” preparation. It is also about conspiracy to suppress invention. If that doesn’t violate the Sherman Antitrust Act, it should.
Background: generic drugs
Any doctor soon learns why drugs cost so much money. In order to recover their research-and-development costs, drug companies rely heavily on patents. But patents last only for a limited time. The U.S. Constitution so provides, and so do the constitutions, “Basic Laws,” etc., of nearly all other countries.
What happens when patents expire? Other companies may then feel free to market the same chemical substances under their generic names. These names are almost always short forms of the chemical names, which follow the strict conventions of the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry. Exceptions do exist – like the name aspirin, which in the U.S. is a generic name. (In Canada, Aspirin® still has the protection of a trade name for acetyl salicylic acid.)
For that reason, typical prescription slips carry two different signature blanks. A pharmacist notes not only the signature but the label on the blank. If it reads Dispense As Written, the pharmacist must use the brand name the doctor specifies. But if it reads Generic Substitution Permitted, the pharmacist may use the “off brand” or “non-brand.” Drug companies lobby doctors – hard – to induce them to sign as Dispense As Written.
All this assumes that the generic brand even exists. Almost immediately with the announcement of the COVID-19 Pandemic, a cry went up to create a generic or “people’s vaccine.” The pharmaceutical industry, worldwide, worked to quash that kind of talk. This, therefore, forms the background of Twitter Files Part 15.
The Big Pharma Twitter Files Thread
Herewith Twitter Files Part 15: the Big Pharma Thread. Lee Fang dropped fifteen tweets, beginning at 7:30 a.m. Pacific Time this morning. As ever, CNAV embeds every other tweet, with each one (after the first) also embedding the tweet before it.
Note: Lee Fang, at least here, clearly subscribes to the notion that SARS-CoV-2 is deadly. Nor does he pass any judgment on the safety or efficacy of any preparation now on the market. His quarrel is simply this: Pfizer, Bio-N-Tech, Moderna, AstraZeneca, and other firms acted to prevent the development of a low-cost immunization preparation. The world will likely never know whether such a thing was possible – or whether the generic preparation might have been safer, and more effective, than any product of Big Pharma might have been.
Thus far, no one has reacted to dispute the basic premise of this thread. Most reaction consists of “There, you see!” But User Kristen Ruby protests to Lee Fang that she reported on these things first.
Time was when drug companies couldn’t advertise
Aside from that, we hear from two users who recalled that only recently did the law allow any drug company to advertise a prescription medication directly to patients.
Other users remind us that the law shields Big Pharma and its members from lawsuits for untoward effects:
One user explained the African experience by pointing out that Africans must use a generic drug against malaria. That drug, by this theory, was effective enough against SARS-CoV-2 to make the vaccine unnecessary.
This user created a thread addressing the distortion of information regarding Gardasil, a vaccine against human papilloma virus, the causative agent of cervical carcinoma.
Two users wanted to convene criminal tribunals for Big Pharma executives. One of them embedded a picture dropping a particularly dark hint:
Finally, this user asked sardonically whether the German government would shortly request a “deamplification” of the Twitter Files 15 thread.
So what do we have?
This thread reveals to things. First, Twitter let yet another player, or a group of players, use it. Once you start doing this kind of favor for one, you cannot withhold it from others. In fact, Elon Musk himself addressed the initial reasons for the “censorship tools,” and their abuse:
To “scams and spam,” let’s add, in all fairness: cyberbullying, and solicitation and grooming.
We also see Big Pharma trying to capture a market. Free markets require unrestricted information. Furthermore, any company of size, eventually places itself at moral hazard of trying to protect its market by illicit means. To say nothing of how Western society has allowed Big Pharma to grow so “big.” The people have grown vain and, yes, decadent, by turning to industrial medicine to solve what are essentially lifestyle problems.
Should appropriate authorities investigate Big Pharma for lying about the relative safety and efficacy of “dispense as written” versus “generic”? Yes, most certainly. But we, the consumers of their product, must ask ourselves why we grew dependent on them. If they now behave like suppliers and pushers, what does that make us? Addicts, that’s what. There’s a tendency we ought to strive to overcome.
Terry A. Hurlbut has been a student of politics, philosophy, and science for more than 35 years. He is a graduate of Yale College and has served as a physician-level laboratory administrator in a 250-bed community hospital. He also is a serious student of the Bible, is conversant in its two primary original languages, and has followed the creation-science movement closely since 1993.
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