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DBL%20Hendrix%20small.png College chemistry, 1983

Derek Lowe The 2002 Model

Dbl%20new%20portrait%20B%26W.png After 10 years of blogging. . .

Derek Lowe, an Arkansan by birth, got his BA from Hendrix College and his PhD in organic chemistry from Duke before spending time in Germany on a Humboldt Fellowship on his post-doc. He's worked for several major pharmaceutical companies since 1989 on drug discovery projects against schizophrenia, Alzheimer's, diabetes, osteoporosis and other diseases. To contact Derek email him directly: Twitter: Dereklowe

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December 7, 2009

Once You Have Paid Him the Danegeld. . .

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Posted by Derek

. . .you never get rid of the Dane. (The rest of the poem, if you haven't come across it.)

Comments (11) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: Current Events


1. SP on December 7, 2009 9:08 AM writes...

I'm intrigued by the fact that progressive groups think the health care plan is a sellout because pharma signed on to it (if they're willing to shell out $80B up front, think how much they must be profiting on top of that under the plan!) while at the same time industry people think the deal is holding a gun to their head.

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2. Sili on December 7, 2009 10:40 AM writes...

Hey! I resemble that remark!

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3. Vader on December 7, 2009 11:22 AM writes...

Has a distinct Rudyard Kipling feel to it.

But I don't think the old boy was around in 1016.

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4. Robert Bruce Thompson on December 7, 2009 11:28 AM writes...

Got it in one. It *is* Kipling.

The dates refer to the time when the English were paying Danegeld.

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5. dearieme on December 8, 2009 6:26 AM writes...

"Do you like Kipling?

I don't know, I've never kipled."

(Hoary British joke.)

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6. Fenton on December 8, 2009 11:35 AM writes...

Hey Derek,

Both the Danes and the Brits have laws in place that mandate 100% health care coverage. The Brits also have national health care. And I don't hear any of them complaining about 'Danegeld'. In contrary, they're quite proud of the NHS.

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7. Derek Lowe on December 8, 2009 11:45 AM writes...

The "Danegeld" part wasn't a reference to desirability (or not) of having a national health care system. What caught my eye was the way that the larger drug companies have tried to buy their way to safety by supporting the effort in exchange for not being hit too hard by it. I don't think, in the long run, that that's going to work, because I don't trust the government not to come down on pricing, etc., at such a time as may suit it - no matter what the handshake agreement might have been.

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8. Hap on December 8, 2009 1:05 PM writes...

I think we need a national health care system that covers everyone (private or public), but government isn't exactly a fair negotiating partner if you don't think they have your interests at heart. It's like negotiating a contract with someone who can change the rules at (almost) any time, while you cannot - any deal you make will probably not be in your best interest, and is too contingent to even use as a basis for planning your future. You can't necessarily hope that what comes out of the process will stabilize your business, because others want to mold the outcome for their interests, too, and whether or not the outcome institution is sustainable is not relevant to them.

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9. SP on December 8, 2009 1:12 PM writes...

They can change the rules at almost any time? Have you read anything about the Senate in the last 6 months? They're deadlocked because a guy who represents a couple hundred thousand people wants more money for the seven hospitals in his state.

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10. Sili on December 8, 2009 2:03 PM writes...

They're deadlocked because a guy who represents a couple hundred thousand people wants more money for the seven hospitals in his state.

And I thought John Kerry's and Whatshisface's amendment get prayer funded was bad. The utter rejection of any evidencebase really annoys me.

Well, it's not like I need to care. I guess that's a sign that I need to read more local news.

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11. Hap on December 8, 2009 2:42 PM writes...

The Senate's harder to change rules than the House (it tries to be more collegial rather than using brute force to pass legislation), but in neither case do they really have to consult with the other parties in their deals to change the terms. The government (being that for starters, you can't get another one, and also because it has guns, lots more money, and lots of power) has much more power than any of the groups it might deal with, and so deals with it are likely to be uneven ones. It seems a lot like "click-through" contracts on software - I don't have any power to change them, and no (legal) options to refuse them (I already paid for it and probably can't return it, so I can either use it by their rules or not at all).

The only mitigating factor is that the decision to make a deal between the government and drug companies as whole indicates that the government's position isn't as strong as it would like - if the drug companies choose to oppose changes in health care, the government might not feel that it could make the desired changes and still keep power.

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