Blog | Thursday, August 28, 2008

Drug money

A combination of news this week has served to make the pharma industry look particularly bad. First, the Washington Post reports on Genetech's refusal to explore whether Avastin works as well as super-expensive Lucentis in the treating the wet form of age-related macular degeneration.

What are they doing with their money instead? Funding the Democratic convention, apparently. According to the Wall Street Journal blog, sponsors of the Denver gathering include: Merck, Amgen, Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Novartis, Mylan, Medtronic, Abbott, Walgreen, UnitedHealth, Eli Lilly and Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield.

Their efforts may all be in vain, however, says an article on Slate. The author points out that, for now at least, both Obama and McCain have taken a hard line on pharma, talking about their support for importation of low-cost generics from Canada. Let's hope the companies have been wisely investing that money they're saving by not giving away pens and dinners anymore.