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Comment Re:Sir Winston (Score 1) 621

The UK exports 40% TO the EU.
If they want to keep doing that, they will follow EU regulations, and will allow freedom of movement.
They are of course free not to do so, as long as they accept that they lose that 40%

The EU has said several times now that that is not going to change. And they cannot step back from that even if they wanted to, because then the EU would put leaving EU countries ahead of the ones that stay. And that's not a long term winning strategy.

Comment Re:What could possibly go wrong? (Score 1) 127

How about: paedophiles who rape little children, or people who beat babies to death with indifference just receive a couple years in prison and then can go along their merry way to repeat themselves. When I see how low those sentences sometimes are, it makes me angry.

Imo. whoever rapes or kills a kid should go to prison for the rest of their natural life without parole. Or if they get out, be actively monitored for life. But apparently it is much more important to consider their feelings and give them second, third or fourth chances than to protect more kids against the staggering recidivism rate of paedophiles which varies from study to study, but over the lifetime of a convicted paedophile are reported typically from 40 to 60%, with the more extreme and aggressive ones more likely to relapse.

I also fail to see how first time offenses should be treated differently. That's like saying that first time someone rapes a kid he should get off lightly so that next time he can be tried for real. First offense should be the last one as well, by virtue of not being able to repeat it. I do believe in second chances for many things, but 'not' being a murderer or child molester are not among them.

Comment Re: Lots of unwarranted concerns (Score 2) 319

Speaking as a Belgian, living in Belgium since I was born, I'd say he is right. We have 5 different governments that partially overlap, we have 3 official languages, and the 2 major language groups can't stand each other. I think Belgium is a great place to live, but that doesn't mean I can't also acknowledge that our political system is pretty dysfunctional and nothing sensible gets done unless it is an emergency.

Comment No, not really... (Score 4, Interesting) 245

I work for a company that makes Orphan drugs. Yes, they're ridiculously expensive. The reason is that the number of patients for our drugs number in the couple of thousands globally. Our workforce to run the entire plant, do QA, maintenance, regulatory administration and production processes etc numbers in the several hundreds. Those people need to be paid every month by what a couple thousand people pay for their meds every month.

And that is without taking into account that this entire plant was built for making this drug, which was an investment of hundreds of millions of dollars, with several millions annually for upkeep and maintenance.

I agree that we probably make a decent profit or we wouldn't be doing it.
However, if subsidizing we to stop, we'd just stop making it because with the numbers I mentioned above, it is impossible to make our drugs in a manner that would be affordable without it. And that would mean those people would simply die.

Comment Re:Some wrong assumptions made in comments thus fa (Score 1) 134

There is no technical reason they should be so expensive, components wise I mean. But the development and QA processes, and regulatory filings, audits, and all the other crap to make it suitable for medical purposes, make it so. That is why a WII balance board costs peanuts, but a medical device with similar functionality costs 10K. If has to be developed according to FDA regulatiosn, there need to be mandatory QA controls in place, software needs to be developed according to medical use standards, there is a regular FDA audit to deal with, liability, studies and validations, etc.

The WII balance board just needs to work. For a while. Non calibrated, non validated, and if it doesn't do what is expected in some cases, you get to call tech support instead of file a million dollar lawsuit.

Comment Re:umm, ok...? (Score 1) 134

In meaning, there is a difference. But in reality there isn't. Medical applicances are subject to a lot of regulatory requirements that you cannot skip. If you have something that was not developed and released according to the applicable rules, it simply does not meet the standards and none in the medical field can use it for medical applications. You may think it is annoying or stupid or whatever, but it is law. Those regulations and mandatory QA processes exist to make sure that all bases are covered and that you don't get embarrassing 'oopsies' and people fall dead because you forgot to check for something.

Even today, problems still arise, but the goal is to minimize this as much as possible. And when it goes wrong, lawsuits are files for millions of dollars. Whether the distibutor made any money or not doesn't matter. Your well meaning open source project leader -assuming they somehow fullfilled all legal requirements to releasing something for medical use- would be bankrupted in court, even though he never made a penny.

Comment Re:Why isn't all medical equipment open source? (Score 1) 134

Because all distributors of medical equipment are liable for the damages in case of malfunction. Doesn't matter if you package it up and distribute for free. Your ass is on the line if something goes wrong. That is why there are expensive certifications, regulations, and oversight watchdogs such as the FDA and FAGG (Europe). If you create an ECG appliance, then you had better hope nothing ever goes wrong, because someone dies due to a malfunction, you're bankrupt. That is why even your development and QA processes are subject to severe regulatory requirements.

Comment Re:Sounds counter-productive... (Score 2) 1160

A short delay? You've obviously never worked in the pharma industry.
It takes about 7 to 9 years between building your installation and FDA market approval.
There is a huge amount of testing and red tape to prevent 'oopsies' like the softenon fuckup.

If a big pharma company decided -today- to retrofit one of their plants for making this product, you'd be a decade further before it would become available. Even with a known drug that would not require additional research. And that is assuming there are no legal hurdles like patents or other things that can slow things down even further. I work in a pharma plant. I started there during the engineering phase so I do have a good idea of what is involved in bringing a drug to market.

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