It has always been suspected that pharmaceutical companies would prefer to keep people sick and on medication rather than curing them at once and lose the ability to retain customers.
Although huge reason here is easy to understand, with the industry that pays more than 453 billion in the US alone in 2017, many people have trouble considering that these companies do not have to heart interest of their clients.
The idea that these companies would have us keep patients is dismissed by many as a "conspiracy theory" but do not forget that these companies and their high-level investors are there to sell drugs, not to save lives. This point was raised openly earlier this month in a memo that the Goldman Sachs analyst, Richter Salveen, sent to clients of the firm, about the potential for cure of diseases by gene therapy.
Richter found that the genetic therapies market size could reach 4.8 billion, because "genes are the basis of all biological activity," according to CNBC. However, he is concerned about how the cure of diseases could have a negative impact on the financial results of the industry.
In the report "The genome revolution," Richter asked the following question: "Is the patient recovery a sustainable business model?"
In the memo, Richter said clearly:
"The ability to provide" treatment once "is one of the most attractive aspects of gene therapy, cell therapy, genetic engineering and gene modification. However, these treatments offer a very different perspective regarding recurring revenues compared to chronic therapies. Although this proposal is invaluable for patients and society, it could be a problem for developers of genetic medicine in search of a steady cash flow. "
As an example of how treatments can be bad for business, Richter highlighted the case of Gilead Sciences, a company that has developed a treatment against hepatitis C, which had a cure rate of over 90 %.
As Richter pointed out, "GILD is a case where the success of its franchise on hepatitis C has gradually exhausted the number of patients treatable. In the case of infectious diseases such as hepatitis C, existing patients healing also reduces the number of carriers capable of transmitting the virus to new patients, so that the number of incidents also decreases ... When a group incidents remained stable (for example, cancer), the healing potential poses less risk to the sustainability of a franchise. "
It seems that Richter suggested that he would prefer that people have hepatitis and that he is not interested in preventing diseases such as cancer. Then he suggested that pharmaceutical companies should focus on diseases that have a constant flow of new customers, such as hereditary and the most common genetic diseases.
The report proposed three solutions to drug manufacturers:
"Solution 1: Talking to major markets: Hemophilia is a global market of 9 to 10 billion dollars (hemophilia A, B), which grows about 6 to 7% per year.
Solution 2: Address the high incidence disabilities: Spinal muscular atrophy (AMS) affects cells (neurons) in the spinal cord, which has an impact on the ability to walk, eat or breathe.
Solution 3: constant innovation and portfolio expansion: There are hundreds of hereditary retinal diseases (genetic forms of blindness). "
These suggestions seem harmless enough at first glance, because it suggests cures for some very serious diseases. But at the end of the report, Richter said ". The pace of innovation will also play a role, because the future programs can offset declining revenues of the previous assets"
Although this statement can be interpreted in different ways, it seems certain that Richter suggests drug manufacturers to slow down the pace of development of remedies to allow the growth of these new markets to catch up with their current income.
At a very obvious level, it may seem that this is a toxic manifestation of selfish human nature or an example of the greed that exists in the business world, but there are many more nuances to this situation. Goldman Sachs, like many other Fortune 500 companies have a very twisted way of seeing the world and do business, because they reach their successful lobbying to obtain protection against monopolies or cartels by governments, not by providing value to their customers.
Goldman Sachs analysts and leaders of major pharmaceutical companies have a business model that depends on the monopolization of markets with patents and maintaining innovation in their industries as stagnant as possible, which is why we see a brutal behavior by companies in these positions, but it was not to be.
If companies were forced to compete in order to remain relevant and satisfy their customers, instead of just developing and maintaining patents and monopolies granted by government, innovation is motivated by the desires of customers, which would maintain the honesty of companies, even if their only intention was to make money.