"Do I contradict myself? Very well, I contradict myself. I am vast. I contain multitudes." -Walt Whitman

:malicious user:

Saturday, May 15, 2004

pyrrhic victory
yesterday the necessary papers were signed for a judgment to be submitted to the courts, requesting my divorce; said divorce should be granted by the judge within two months.

and to think, all it cost me were six years and everything i have.

Wednesday, May 12, 2004

On drug development and regulation
On average, of every 7,500 screened molecules, only 1 is approved for use. Of these, only 30% will produce a profit. The average estimated cost for developing a drug in 2001 was $802M. In the last 25 years the cost of research & development has increased from 2 billion dollars to over 30 billion dollars. Even given the relative worth of the dollar, that is still a substantial cost increase.

One reason for this increase is certainly the cost to the sponsor to comply with government regulations. Since 1980 the FDA has enacted no less than six major Acts that impact prescription drugs. One of these, the Prescription Drug User Fee Act of 1992, required drug manufacturers to pay fees to the FDA for the evaluation of new drug applications.

There is also a heavy price to market prescription drugs, in an increasingly competitive industry. In the last six years, 15 of the top 25 major companies have participated in merger/acquisition discussions. Over the last 20 years, 42% of the pharma industry has been consolidated into six giants. There is fierce competition (in a era of diminishing discoveries) to discover, develop, and market new drugs first. Sales reps in pharma are very well paid.

But back to regulation.

Is there too much regulation in the public health arena for our own good? Probably. Historically, the major regulatory actions have resulted from incidents involving human deaths. These regulations exist to serve the public health. However, there is also a history of adversarial relationships between the FDA and other agencies, including the USDA. Sometimes this push and shove results in overregulation, and waste. As an example, baked beans with bacon are inspected by the USDA; baked beans with pork are inspected by the FDA. This type of double effort results in increased costs for the manufacturers, the government, and of course to the consumer/taxpayer.

Is massive deregulation in order? Certainly not blanket deregulation instigated by torch-carrying mobs. Regulations in their best incarnation serve to protect the public health, promote fair opportunity and competition among both brand-name and generic manufacturers, and speed the time to market for drugs. Selective deregulation that considers the economic impact of a law upon the consumer and weighs it against the health risks addressed by the law is, one hopes, a feasible approach.

Thanks. Here's the soapbox back.

Sunday, May 09, 2004

communication breakdown
so i go to see the kids yesterday. their mom had to leave before i arrived, so she dropped them at the neighbor's house to wait for me.

things might have gone more smoothly had she notified me about this arrangement. oops.

so i arrive at the kids' house, ring the bell, knock on the door. not surprisingly, there is no one home. i sit in the car and wait for 40 minutes. no sign of anyone. (my kids live on a corner house; had the neighbors stepped outside their house to look for me, they would have seen the car sitting on the side street where i always park upon arrival). i called the house. no answer. i call her cell phone. no service.

so i left. filed a police report. drove several hours back home. a full day on the road for naught.

i'm supposed to drop off the kids at 4pm. at 4:20pm i get a message on my cell from their mother. she's going to be about a hour late.

she has no idea that the kids aren't with me. she never called the neighbor to see how things went. the neighbor never called her. whether this was a judgement call or they didn't have a contact number, i don't know. oops again.

since their mother is habitually late - and was an hour late on the previous visitation day - i'm suspecting this message was lost in the ether for two weeks and is finally reaching my voicemail.

two hours later she calls again, asking what happened. i ask her the same thing. she explains the whole neighbor thing. can i come make up the visit next week? we'll see, i say. (actually, next week is booked.)

final score:
me - 0
the kids - 0
their mom - 0
angel - 0

Saturday, May 01, 2004

run straight down
ok, i suppose i owe you a post.
so here it is.
dan's cd is posted. as in, in the mail.
amy's cd is posted. she gets a bonus thank you cd, for turning me on to the weakerthans. which i actually already had, but hadn't gotten around to listening to.
mark's cd is in the post.
the felon has gone back to virginia. he has been informed that he is persona non grata. if you secretly drink my jameson's on me, you can be persona non grata, too.
uncle sam got me for ten grand, thanks to my brilliant scheme of exercising stock options to afford my rent, and the ex's successful bid for the right to declare both children on her taxes. even though i pay for, let's see, mostly everything. see my 100 things list. search for "supreme court." bitter, party of one.
i broke out my tenspeed for the first time this year. have managed to ride twice. neither time required medical intervention. this is a good thing.
had the efficient folk down at supercuts shave off most of my hair. stunned myself by realizing how much i look like several of my brothers when that happens.
had mom in and out of the hospital. at 70+ years, this is a scary thing. scary words like "stroke" get included in conversations. luckily, the doctors declared her heart and brain "beautiful" and sent her home with medication. in other words, they don't know what it was, but it wasn't a heart attack or a stroke. good enough for me.
rescued a stray yorkie named leo and got him back to his owner.
wished happy birthday to my daughter (9) and my stepdaughter (20) on the same day. wished happy birthday to jules on a different day.
gave my remaining money to my lawyer.
reached the 3500 recording mark on my cataloged recordings. still backlogged about 500 recordings.
got completely fed up and banned smoking on my property. go get cancer somewhere else.

yeah, that about wraps it up.

i used to be disgusted. now i try to be amused.
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