Skeptiles: Episode 13 — Libertarianism, Porn and Just A Touch of Cancer

 Skeptiles for November 28th, 2012 in which we have a friendly debate with Ryan from New York about Libertarianism and Ayn Rand, Joe brings us the latest Arrested Developments, Scooter shares some Darwin award winners and nominees, and Joe,  Scooter and Shawn discuss the American health care industry. Plus the latest Atheist Bible Study from Joe Dixon.

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2 thoughts on “Skeptiles: Episode 13 — Libertarianism, Porn and Just A Touch of Cancer

  1. Nice rant about doctors not trying to cure diseases. I do kind of disagree; I don’t think doctors etc. are not looking for cures, and I do think that pharmaceutical companies are looking for cures, but at the same time pharmaceutical companies do in fact ‘suppress’ cures that could be cheap in favour of more costly [profitable], less effective, cures. I suspect the article you linked to is one that has been drifting about for a while, to do with super-oxygenating the blood using old drugs and how pharmaceutical won’t investigate it as they wouldn’t be able to patent the ‘cure’ and profit from it. I’m not convinced, but accept it is possible.

    There is a better well documented example of this kind of thing actually happening (I read it published in a book titled ‘Big Parma’); stomach ulcers. In the 80s some guy (can’t be bothered to Google him) infected himself with a bacteria to prove they caused stomach ulcers. Up to this point pharmaceutical companies had been pouring money into fancy drugs to reduce stomach acids, so this was a bummer for them; anti-biotics effective for the bacteria were old and cheap and out-of-patent. So instead of researching the efficacy of the anti-biotics alone, they packaged them up with other, patented, drugs and ran trials with these. These got approval to use, but since they were combination drugs they were vastly more expensive than simply the anti-biotics alone. So it does happen, but it’s not to do with doctors. If a drug was out-of-patent a pharmaceutical company would not study it regardless of how much value it would have for society. Don’t know if this has happened, but it is totally possible…. like you said, we need to get the profit motive out of the medical industry – even over here in the UK, where we’re slowing sliding the wrong way….

  2. Hi Antony,

    Shawn here. I think Scooter may have a different opinion on this than Joe or myself. I seriously doubt there are cures being supressed and, while I agree that the US health care industry is terribly run, corrupt in many ways and largely driven by profit, I do think Scooter’s opinion on this was a little overstated in the show. But I’ll leave him to contribute to this discussion if he has anything he wants to add.

    Thanks again for your comments!

    Shawn

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