By Mike Marquesee
Author and political activist Mike Marqusee used to be clinically determined with a number of myeloma, a kind of blood melanoma, in the summertime of 2007. initially, disinclined to percentage his distress with others, he was once reluctant to write down approximately his disease. yet he then got here to gain that doing so supplied a useful continuity together with his lifestyles as a author sooner than contracting the sickness, and a manner of attaining out to a much broader international that the disease made bodily much less obtainable. Writing allowed him to deal with what he observed as quite a few insidious platitudes that encompass melanoma, frequently hooked up to the individualistic concept that the patient has to be courageous in struggling with the illness, with the inevitable corollary that those that succumb have, in a few degree, introduced it on themselves.
And so Marqusee starts to put in writing approximately his disease. not only his personal indicators and emotions, however the responses of buddies to the inside track that he's unwell and how those mirror broader social attitudes in the direction of the ill. He describes the political struggles taking place in St Bartholomew’s, the London clinic that cares for him, and the hindrance in Britain’s nationwide health and wellbeing provider (NHS) extra regularly, at a time of harrowing cutbacks. great Pharma, whose medicines hold Marqusee alive yet are bought to the NHS at costs reflecting the facility and greed of a ruthless extortionist, is the topic for fairly astringent scrutiny.
The observations approximately melanoma in those pages are by no means trite or sentimental. they're acute, relocating, impassioned and political. and so they show vital, shared truths, either own and social, approximately an disease that may have an effect on one in 3 humans during their lives.
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Extra resources for The Price of Experience: Writings on Living with Cancer
The Revlimid patent extends to 2027, and in accordance with the corporate, “revenue isn't really close to its strength top. ” (The drug has lately been authorized to be used in China. ) no longer strangely, Celgene’s NASDAQ-listed proportion rate has risen progressively, up 113% in 2012. Celgene additionally makes the model of thalidomide utilized in the remedy of a number of myeloma, in addition to a brand new myeloma treatment referred to as Pomalyst, approved within the U. S. and at the moment less than overview by way of great. Who knew loads funds may be produced from a number of myeloma? It’s thought of a unprecedented affliction, accounting for under 1% of all cancers. at the moment there are approximately fourteen thousand humans in Britain and seventy-five thousand within the U. S. residing with a number of myeloma. no longer an unlimited industry, yet essentially a ecocnomic one, even though nonetheless just a sliver of the $1. 1 trillion worldwide pharmaceutical undefined. Like different pharmaceutical businesses, Celgene claims its excessive costs are had to maintain study and improvement. in spite of the fact that, like different pharmaceutical businesses, Celgene spends nearly all of its profit no longer on R&D, yet on revenues, advertising, lobbying, felony charges, acquisitions, and naturally distribution of earnings. in accordance with an industry-wide pattern, sales and gains have grown speedier than funding in R&D. Celgene cost exorbitantly for Revlimid since it owns an unique license to supply it. The formulation itself is straightforward to copy, and if it weren't for criminal restraints, the drug should be produced generically for a fragment of the associated fee. This multi-billion greenback company is outfitted on a state-enforced deepest monopoly of a necessary sturdy. On exam, the explanation for that monopoly crumbles. medical learn is cumulative and collective. the improvement of Revlimid used to be purely attainable as a result of a series of advances in molecular biology and different disciplines. On what foundation does the fruit of that procedure belong solely to Celgene’s shareholders? In a revealing pattern, pharmaceutical businesses more and more outsource middle capabilities, together with drug discovery itself. This reduces mounted expenses, yet vitiates the neoliberal argument that innovation is inextricably tied to non-public possession of the ultimate product. It exhibits that innovation could be paid for and rewarded as a separate functionality, and that patent-holding exclusivity isn't really an important part of the method. in keeping with great Pharma, their company version is the one solution to develop examine. traditionally, in spite of the fact that, clinical advances have mostly trusted public associations (hospitals and universities); the company version is comparatively fresh. it's also a version compromised at its clinical middle. The reliance on capitalist incentive for funding, rather than funding decided by means of public want, distorts the sphere as a complete. more and more, study is dictated via advertising and marketing. the purpose is to provide a ecocnomic drug; R&D priorities are set consequently. As could be visible within the long-running resistance of massive Pharma to complete e-book of scientific trials facts, the imperatives of festival placed a brake at the sharing of knowledge, that is the root of clinical strengthen.