>Who is it, that you think will invest $2.5B into >something that will take a decade and will almost >certainly fail, on the promise of a 30% profit?
I said, "this is our cost for developing THIS drug, these are our costs for developing FAILED drugs, add 30%". The failures are built into the price I proposed, actually. Let's be more specific about the 30% profit--how about a 30% profit per year capital was tied up? In most sectors of the economy 30% profit is pretty handsome. I don't mind them profiting reasonably from their labors, even if they are profiting from the suffering. What bothers me is them saying to, well, Americans specifically, "this drug is worth half your income potential for the rest of your life. Pay up or suffer."
As for "you have opinions about what they should be allowed to charge", no, that's not what I think. They developed the drug, by law, it's theirs and they can charge what they want for it. I was arguing that the drug should have been the result of public investment and then made available at cost to everyone who needs it, not at the maximum that can be extracted from suffering people.
I was also arguing that extracting money from suffering people according to the maximum that can be gouged rather than according to cost + reasonable profit is pretty awful and should not be done. Corporations are actually allowed to have some ethics instead of being profit maximizing predatory price gougers profiting on human suffering.
I was also arguing that for a company to charge Americans lots of money for the drug so that it is practically out of reach for most, while being willing to cut deals for non-Americans is also pretty awful.
Consider this scenario: there's a natural disaster, water infrastructure is broken, and I have big supply of bottled water that cost me $1.00 each. There are lots of thirsty-to-death people around for me to sell to.
From an arbitrary set of people, namely, those who think it is OK for corporations to charge whatever they want of suffering people in need (I'll call these people "market religionists", I charge them 10% of the rest of their lifetime earnings, and consider myself generous, because I could have demanded more. From everyone else, I charge $1.30 each. And I'm totally indifferent to the suffering of the market religionists as they agonize in thirst.
I mean, charging Americans a lot more than everyone else is actually more arbitrary than charging market religionists a lot more than everyone else--I'm actually treating market religionists according to their own system of ethics, right?
Last, there ARE other drugs and treatments for hepatitis C. It's not like the rest of the world wasn't doing anything for these people until Gilead (actually it wasn't Gilead but a company that Gilead bought) came along.
It's just that the other treatments are not as good--there's even another cure, it's just not as good.
As such, I think Gilead's initial pricing strategy was pretty stupid. They should have charged a low enough price that EVERYONE who has HepC got on the drug, not just the few that the insurance companies and states have decided are so badly off that they are triaged into being given the drug.