Angua wrote:There would have been legal barriers to use of that drug because the drug was currently under patent for another use entirely.
So this barrier is created by the government, then? Who'd've known.
Yes, some drugs are found with other research but it's neither common (there are many, many drugs out there, most of which were found with people trying to find something that will work for there intended use), not reliable. If you want a cure for x disease, you don't just sit around and hope that someone else find something useful. You research the disease to try and find ways to stop it.
What, so socialise research to fund every single disease? I mean, sure, diseases like say, Ebola might be terrible and have no cure, but there's not even a hundred cases a year (or if there are more, not much more). For the diseases that are widespread and lethal, there is high incentive to provide treatments for them, and they'll come through without a body arbitrarily forcing people to direct resources to such and such research (HIV/AIDS no doubt had considerable government funding, but would anyone honestly believe there would be no treatment without it?). It's cost and benefit. Why research treatments for diseases that don't even afflict very many?
Why should I imagine? It has already happened. Have you not seen the complete ineffectiveness of Vitamin Supplements that has been discovered recently?http://junksciencecom.files.wordpress.c ... tality.pdf
Survey Says: Multivitamin use has led to (slightly, but statistically proven) increased
mortality. How many years has the general public used multivitamin supplements for the hell of it? And now we don't even know if they do anything (or women over the age of 60 to 85).
Lets see, who discovered this fact? Funding came from
* National Cancer Institute (US Government)
* The Academy of Finland (Finnish Government)
* The Finnish Cultural Foundation (Finnish)
* Fulbright program (Wait... what? State Department? They fund this stuff ? I guess its because its an international study, so the State Department has their fingers in this )
Why did this happen? Because health policy is a classic market failure
. No one is TRYING to screw you over, we've just identified a situation where important work fails to get done. Understanding where the free market fails is extremely important for policy makers to understand. Again though, I emphasize, I feel this is not the typical case. I've brought up the internet before, where the Free Market innovates very very strongly. But for whatever reason, in the area of Health Policy, research is almost always driven by government entities. Do you really
expect Multivitamin companies to publish research that would destroy their own business segment? Hell no, and who can blame them?
--> Another study (by the same doctors) also discovered that Vitamin D supplements remain useful in Finland. It could be the case that US is sunnier than Finland Vitamin D, so Vitamin D supplements don't help you out. Interesting research...
Sorry, I meant 'wholly ineffective at what they claimed to do'. Vitamin supplements claim that vitamins are essential for your body, which is true, and that they contain vitamins, which is also true. So really, they didn't say anything that was untrue.
Could have, would have, should have. Stop using wishy-washy words and start bringing up historical examples. The reason why we have NIH, FDA, and all of those big agencies... is because the research DOESN'T happen without government intervention. You're arguing against historical fact without understanding context.
Break free of the chains of your idealism and look at the facts for what they are.
Well, honestly, that argument could apply to all technological progress from 1930 on, from computers and the Internet to Velcro.
At any rate, as a proper historical example, alcohol was known to cover liver disease since the turn of the 20th century
, probably related to the Temperance movement, so it's not as if these things couldn't be figured out without government and/or private businesses would suppress the information.
There are public concerns over the use and effectiveness of Flu Vaccinations. "Public Concern" is white noise that attacks everything.
Flu vaccines were not commonly referred to 'coffin nails', and no one talked of a 'vaccinated person's cough/hack'. The fact that the ads from the period only claimed their brand of cigarettes were 'less bad' indicate popular conception was that smoking was probably bad.
What matters is where and when the SCIENCE!!
gets done. And historically speaking, in the field of Health Policy, the Free Market does not lead to groundbreaking research that affects millions of people. Anti-smoking facts, and more recently anti-vitamin facts (~2010) are thanks to government sponsored research. Its a solid pattern that has made its way through history.[/quote]
The Free Market has never lead to anything groundbreaking in Anything Policy, because the free market has nothing to do with creating policy, nor should it be.
The Great Hippo wrote:What happens when health insurance companies receive a payoff by cigarette companies not to pursue that research?
Same situation as what would occur if companies from Industry A try to pay off companies from Industry B to not produce a competing good. On the side from Industry A side, it's a Prisoner's Dilemma since the companies have incentive to defect (experience all the benefits of no tobacco research without paying) and on the Industry B side you have what's in effect a subsidy, encouraging more firms to enter the market, all of which will have to be paid off by the firms in Industry A. The cigarette companies could form a cartel, but seeing as they never had any success with that anyway regarding advertising (to defect is to advertise, to cooperate is to not advertise; advertising would draw consumers from one firm to another, but not many more to the industry overall. If everyone advertised, they'd all be out of a lot of money and not many more consumers to show for it. As a result, they lobbied to have their advertising banned.
), that would probably be ineffective.
Or what happens when health insurance companies concentrate on denying health coverage for smokers and/or smoke-related illnesses?
Then people become aware that they'll receive higher premiums/get denied if they smoke, discouraging smoking and making people at least aware of its dangers. Problem solved. Hit someone in the wallet and they tend to feel it.
I think the presumption that health insurance companies would fill the gap that the government did in this case is a very dangerous one; there are plenty of better methods to pursue profit besides launching a costly anti-smoking campaign that will make an enemy out of Big Tobacco.
And so what? A rational insurance company would need to do or fund the research on tobacco for actuarial statistics. Some do-gooder nonprofit might use that research in their anti-smoking campaign. But I don't see why a publicly funded anti-smoking campaign was ever necessary.
johnny_7713 wrote:So here is the current dogma: scientific research is fundamentally a public good because new ideas, unlike private goods, cannot be monopolized for long,
No, scientific research is a public good because the potential returns on investment in pure scientific research are way beyond the horizon for most companies. GPS wouldn't work without knowledge of the theory of relativity, but in 1904 no one would have hired Einstein to develop a theory of relativity, because a) you wouldn't know in advance that you would be getting that, and b) it would take another 50-80 years before you could earn money off it.
Someone doesn't know what the definition of a public good
Also, you do realise Einstein's research wasn't funded by any government, right?
The contemporary economic evidence, moreover, confirms that the government funding of R&D has no economic benefit.
Are we talking about industrial R&D, or are we talking about pure science. The article seems to confuse the two a lot, and they are definitely not the same thing.
Presumably all scientific research. Besides, companies fund pure science too.
Nathan Rosenberg of Stanford University showed that the down payment that a potential copier has to make before he or she can even begin to copy an innovation is their own prior contribution to the field: only when your own research is credible can you understand the field. And what do credible researchers do? They publish papers and patents that others can read, and they produce goods that others can strip down.
You don't need to be credible, you need to be competent. Sure, you might need to go through the research steps yourself to really understand some new technology, but you certainly don't have to publish anything yourself.
So you're saying you expect them to develop competent researchers without having them do any research? That'll work out just dandy.
indeed, if it was ever real, the distinction between pure and applied science is now largely defunct
Indeed? So what's the application of string theory, or the Higgs' Boson, or Fermat's last theorem, or a survey of French medieval poetry?
I wouldn't know, but are those science?
String theory: Debatable. Testable hypotheses? Not really.
Fermat's last theorem: Mathematics is not science. (I can hazard a guess towards applications, though, since it's related to elliptic curves it probably has some purpose in cryptography)
Survey of French medieval poetry: lolwut.
CorruptUser wrote:Common Good: Non-excludable, rivalrous. A good that no one can be prevented from using, but use prevents others from enjoying. E.g., fisheries, wild deer, unowned grazing fields.
Free Market fails utterly here. Government is absolutely needed to use these at all.
Absolutely untrue. When a Tragedy of the Commons occurs, it doesn't occur because it's impossible to exclude, it's because people are not allowed to exclude. The establishment of private property rights solves the problem. For instance, a crowded road can be dealt with by making it private property, allowing for tolls to be collected, etc.
Arariel wrote:Any developments that benefited the public (even if such effects in the long term) should have been reflected in long-run economic growth. Economic growth isn't some silly measure of how much money people make. It's a measure of standard of living.
Not entirely correct. It could be a measure of the volume of the consumption
. But it's not by itself a measure of the quality
If people's desires are fulfilled with less consumption, they'll consume less. So maximal utility can be achieved by increasing the amount and variety of goods able to be consumed, and in a system where all purchases are voluntary, the increased consumption reflects increased utility and thus standard of life.
So, if, say, the increasing sales of junk consumables together with the increasing sales of the medical services fighting with the effects of junk consumables contribute 2% to the annual economy grow, does it mean that this increase makes living 2% better annually?
If junk consumables make them happier, I'd say they'd be getting a higher standard of living, yes.
Producer-funded research is supposed to increase the well-being of the producer. The well-being of a producer is determined by their ability to make profits from sales.
Consumer-funded research is supposed to increase the well-being of the consumer. The well-being of a consumer is determined by their ability to spend their funds efficiently.
In a voluntary transaction, both producer and consumer are made better off.
I won't be surprised to find out that the medical research funded by the medical insurance funds (even privately owned ones) actually decreases the growth in the medical service sales. Is it a bad thing for the producers of medical services? Definitely. Is it a bad thing for the consumers of medical services? I'm not convinced.
Unless consumers take their savings from the medical service sales and shove them under a mattress, I'm hazarding that the money re-enters the economy in another industry.