Big Pharma and Toilet Paper

Toilet paper was invented on December 22, 1891 by S. Wheeler. Given the panic buying of toilet paper when the beer flu panic started, I’m surprised Big Pharma didn’t figure out a way to claim the patent and jack up the prices.

As a side benefit…note the proper way to hang the roll…outside, not in. End of discussion (but I doubt it).

Insulin was first discovered in 1921 by orthopedic surgeon Frederick Banting and medical student Charles Best, from the University of Toronto. The pair later sold the patent for insulin to the university for one dollar. Their drug, which many of the 30 million Americans with diabetes rely on, has become the poster child for pharmaceutical price gouging. The inventors felt that insulin belonged to the public. Now, nearly 100 years later, insulin is inaccessible to thousands of Americans because of its high cost.

Big Pharma spends a lot of money on advertising…and 90% of the media are owned by just five big corporations. They don’t advertise the drugs unless they own the patents. Ever wonder why 90% of the media are downplaying Hydroxychloroquine (patent date 1951) and pushing Gilead’s Remdesivir (patent date 2019)?

Doesn’t take a genius to connect the dots.

The President is taking Hydroxychloroquine + orange man bad = remsesivir gooder!

And have you noticed that the media fails to mention the price difference?

Here’s a headline that will make Gilead (and the media) very nervous…

First generic version of Gilead’s remdesivir will be sold by a Bangladesh drug maker…here’s the link:

As Jeff Goldblum famously said…”nature will find a way”.

I’m going to predict the next phase of the pharmaceutical beer flu saga:

As some states ease their shutdowns, there’s a growing interest in antibody tests that can tell whether you’ve been infected with the new coronavirus — and presumably, have developed some degree of immunity to the disease.

Tricare, like other insurance providers and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), only authorizes tests when they are “medically necessary” as recommended by the Center for Disease Control (CDC).

Tricare covers both a test that determines if you are currently sick with COVID-19 and a test that screens for COVID-19 antibodies. Tests are currently only available for those who suspect they have the disease or may have had it already.

Quest Diagnostics recently began selling antibody testing directly to the public for $119, plus an additional lab fee of $10.30.

Some private labs are offering antibody tests to the public, with or without a doctor’s referral, for a fee. These include labs such as ARCpoint Labs in Greenville, North Carolina ($75), National Jewish Health in Denver, Colorado ($94), and Innovative Express Care in Chicago ($250).

I’m finding that most tests come from one factory source… HANGZHOU BIOTEST BIOTECH CO.,LTD.

A close friend knows one of their factory reps and asked me to help him with some marketing ideas. Before I volunteered, here’s what I confirmed:

According to Raja Krishnamoorthi. Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy, Hangzhou Biotest Biotech’s COVID-19 IgG/IgM Rapid Test Cassette (brand name RightSign) is on the list of the 150 tests currently identified on FDA’s website as being marketed under Pathway D.

Under Section IV.D of FDA’s March 16, 2020, policy, also known as “Pathway D,” manufacturers are allowed to distribute coronavirus serology tests “where the test has been validated, notification is provided to FDA, and information” regarding the lack of FDA review and limitations of serological testing results is provided to patients with their test results.

To cut through the government language, if the test comes from this factory, it’s approved.

Now for the interesting part.

Anybody can sell the tests made by this factory. Apparently, the factory has no clue about territory exclusivity for their sales staff, whether independent or factory reps.

I created a sell sheet for the rep friend and included results from a major Stanford University test.

Here’s a link to the sell sheet:

I sent a copy of the sell sheet to the doctor who ran the Stanford University test to confirm. After several emails back and forth, Dr. Jay discovered through me that he was buying the tests from one of many available sources and that the RightSign brand name used in the sell sheet was the same test he used.

I also discovered that another recent sale of the RightSign brand name test was to France involving 10 million tests.

In my fifty years of marketing, I have generally shied away from the medical field. Having dipped briefly into it now as a favor for a friend…

…I find it’s still a wild west show.

Add the lobbying of Big Pharma and the “special” laws and health regulations from our politicians…it’s obvious Matt Dillon hasn’t shown up yet.

Meanwhile, the town doctors in this wild west are focused on their patients…not the politics.

A final word of caution for them:

In solidarity with the current crop of “journalists”, I have hung my certificate of peer approved membership in the international  fraternity of journalism  (Pi Delta Epsilon)…

Upside down.

In my bathroom.

Over the toilet.



fns  5.23.2020