the morality of life saving drugs

Imagine a scenario with a quarter of  the world dying of treatable diseases while the cure is held closely by a few hugely rich corporations that refuse to dispense the medicines at a price that is affordable to the poor.  Sounds like stuff for a ‘oh my God’ sci fi movie ?

Sorry, but that is the situation right now in the world. Diseases like Hepatitis, Heart Diseases, Diabetes and Aids – all that have drugs to control them and often cure them are available.  But the patent to those life saving drugs belong to massive multinational corporations that refuse to allow ‘generic’ drugs to be manufactured cheaply in (say) China and India and distributed to save lives.

The argument of course is cost of development of these drugs. “How will the drug companies survive to do further research and go on producing life saving drugs of the future if they has sell their drugs at a loss ?”  It’s a strong argument that on the face of it seems absolutely reasonable.  But that in the word ‘cost’ and ‘loss’ lies the fallacy of the argument.

Looks deeply into the ‘costs’ of the major drug companies and you will find hidden it huge profits for the shareholders. Huge costs of highly paid lawyers to protect the patents. Highly paid scientists vying with each other to take out and protect their patents. Huge salaries to CEO and the management team with attached bonuses etc.  Huge marketing costs too. Add it all up and you will soon see that the what we call simply protection of ‘costs’ is actually often protection of ‘wealth’

And then the issue of morality kicks in.  What is the ‘cost’  of development of drugs that is fair for the populations of the world that desperately need them ?

Nor does the idea that “it mine and I can do what I want with it”  work.  We live in a global world and the fundamentals of globalization is fairness and equality. Otherwise Globalization is skewed in favour of the rich nations, and the rich within poor nations.  Globalization will then lead to conflict and war. Also the Western nations and /or the multinationals have for long had a policy of attracting the best scientific talent to themselves by higher pay scales. Its a skewed immigration policy that for years created a ‘brain drain’ that worked against scientific development in developing countries.  Thankfully that is being reversed now.

I do not deny the incredible innovation (say) in the US.  It’s ability to provide some of the best minds in the world with some of the best environments to develop their products in.  Its admirable.  But either we are a global community or we are not. And if we are, then at least availability of life saving drugs must not be used to support an ‘oasis of wealth’.

Ayurveda is a case in point. For centuries the knowledge and wisdom of Ayurveda was available free to the people. The best practitioners would dispense their knowledge and healing abilities free , being supported ore by the rich that could afford to do so.  Now suddenly there is a scramble to ‘patent’ Ayurvedic ideas and medicines.  Those that for centuries have been available free.

This has been a raging arguments – especially in light of drug companies in China and India that are producing generic formulations of drugs that were created by multinationals to be distributed at cheaper and affordable prices to those that would die without them. Gradually these ‘generic’ drug manufacturers are creating their own molecules and soon will file their own patents.  Hopefully they will turn out different,

So what is more moral. To infringe patents and save lives, or to hold on to the law of patent as a more moral stance – and lives be damned ?  I invite those with greater knowledge than I into this argument …

36 thoughts on “the morality of life saving drugs

  1. FDA itself stands for food n ‘drug admn’.. Marijuana was banned in US n By UN because the Acting President of US had a timber business n Marijuana is not only more effective pain killer for Cancer patients But also its byproduct can create better paper than trees (timber)!!! its all about Lobbying. No wonder other than Sikkim Tobacco is not banned anywhere in the world which takes more lives than imaginable.

  2. You ignore the huge cost of drug development often in several billions of dollars. Patent protection allows them to recoup their cost, set aside money for future drug development and sure also to make them profit. Generic formulations are also needed for poorer countries like China and India, to name a few. I think negotiation is what is required to achieve a middle ground. The local drug manufacturers need to give a portion of their profit to the original inventors, that is only fair. The percentage is what needs to be determined by negotiations.

  3. Sir , you have raised a very serious question. This all is result of capitalism’s blind lust for money. Capitalism considers every other thing seconadary to the idea of money creation.

  4. West goes by the philosophy of “Will to Power” and East by “Wish to be Free”. Both at extremes don’t give a damn to people’s lives. If those companies would not allow lower prices to save people’s lives here too some so-called extreme spiritualists like Ramana Maharshi could sit in total peace even if the whole of India was dying. The only saving grace is that things go on changing in cycles on their own whatever people do or do not do.

  5. I respect intellectual property in all forms. But then I work in the industry.
    You know the hit rate of drug discovery– 1 in 10,000 compounds makes it to market.
    As a CA, perhaps you can throw light on how to recover the cost of the 9999 compounds? 🙂

    As a diabetic hypertensive, I recognise I have access to medicines and a quality of life at a sensible price thanks to the Indian pharma industry. These options were not there 50 years ago. If there is a price tag to this, well and good.

    And when we crib about the cost of healthcare, it is too easy to pick holes re medicines. A good doctor charges 1000 per consultation– and health insurance is probably the only way to bring this down.

    When Indian industry creates products holding IP for world markets, why should they not earn the same kind of returns?

  6. Shekhar,

    I have been thinking about this, off and on since many years.

    First of all, in a free enterprise, no amount of profit-margin is illegal. We apply our own
    yardsticks of morality, and label it immoral. I believe life will teach a lesson to people who
    make immoral profits. Shakespeare touched on this subject in his “Merchant of Venice” where the
    merchant was allowed to take only a “pound of flesh, but not a drop of blood”. So lawyers, who
    challenge these patents will be able to find the “drop of blood” clause. Patents, by their very
    nature are the opposite of trade-secrets. Patents encourage society not to keep trade-secrets so
    that they do not take their knowledge to the grave. Is Ayurvedic knowledge freely available as you
    claim, or is it guarded in India from generations as a trade-secret?

    Most practical patent holders seek royalty, instead of trying to shut down the industry. After
    all, to whom can they sell their life saving drug to, after the patient is dead?

    And by the way, even the Indian generic drug manufacturer does not give these drugs out for free.
    Many dying patients are broke, and cannot even afford the cost of these generic drugs.

    Patents and other legal protections have made the West (say US) a society conducive to growth,
    compared to the chaotic atmosphere in India. I am seeing progress in India over the years with
    transparancies being introduced with the help of the internet, but still, team Anna has a long way
    to go. I deduct many celebrities like Akshay Kumar, Kingfisher Mallya, yourself, etc. are based
    outside India, probably for these reasons. In fact, I once heard that 5 Indian engineers who had
    made millions in high-tech in USA, incorporated their next venture in USA rather than India,
    mainly for legal protection available in the USA.

    So, one workable solution for providing life saving drugs to the poor would be dispatching
    negotiated royalties to the foreign firms. This works to some extent in the publishing business,
    where text-book publishers like Wiley, reprint an Indian edition of a US book for about one fifth the
    American price. The Govt. of India could also help by introducing free healthcare. I know this has
    been introduced in some Indian states as a health credit-card with Rs. 30,000 per year per person

    We say teaching, medicine, etc, are noble professions. Do noble professions have a right to make a
    profit? Besides entertaining, you also teach through your movies. Do you make a profit while
    teaching? I believe even people in noble professions should make a reasonable profit. We can
    discuss till the end of time, as to how much profit is reasonable! On the other hand, if the profits are too high, many competitors will be born.

  7. Hello Raju,
    Knowledge of Ayuerveda is freely available in India. The process of making of various ayuervedic medicine are unique and they are taught in ayurvedic colleges and now there are institutes conducting courses to prepare medicines..

    I agree to many of the points you have preference of country, work culture environment etc.. …but also agree with shekhar about ‘profits spent on protection of wealth’..
    if you looked into this aspect from ‘out sourcing point of view’ then by manufacturing these costly drugs in country like India, Chaina, these companies and countries will be in ‘win-win’ situation.

    Thanks and take care..subodh

  8. Hi Shekhar,

    The irony about the Life Saving drugs is that all of them are not really life saving but advertised, lobbied, lied, rumoured, imagined, still to be researched etc., They are all the so called Block Buster drugs of Big Pharma companies in which former FDA officials work as the executives. Uber rich will be the shareholders of these companies and these will sponsor the election campaigns for the poiticians there. So, let’s stop believing that they can do something good to the healthcare industry inside the country and to the needy poor around the world.

    There are ways the above said deseases can be cured and prevented, except one or two, more effectively and naturally. So many means so many that the alternate medicine is evolving like never before. Don’t make them say that they have got “the solution” for all those health problems and they are just not giving it to the world.


  9. in continuation with the above, change in work culture, takes some time..and in past 15 years I have seen a lot change..I have seen companies run by well cultured industralists, purely family owned business (bania style) companies, professional companies and MNCs (which were our clients)..
    In short, th epoint of preference of countires will get diluted in coming years..


  10. Hello Shekhar,

    the positive side of a capitalist system is that it engenders competition and a striving for excellence paired with the knowledge that glorious incentives await the best minds. The negative side reaches its full bloom when greed, the driving force of our system, comes into play. How can a system be re-calibrated, re-infused with new ideas, new ways of thinking? One of the more hopeful signs are that the public at large is increasingly becoming aware of the vulgarity of a system that clearly favors those who belong to that small but financially potent upper class. Politicians who facilitate the status quo speak disapprovingly of “class warfare” when the subject of greater equality is floated by those who know that changes must come. I fervently believe that the winds of change are blowing strongly, that a new narrative is being established that assigns a vastly improved belief system to an old, decrepit one. The old and inveterate ideas must be newly formulated. I think there is a bloodless, albeit loud and grim revolution taking place, one that is writing a new chapter in the history book of societal upheavals.
    How will all this change be implemented when it comes to the unbridled greed of corporations and their narrow view of how the world populace with rapidly growing access to the internet will respond to the openly visible infighting that is being carried out right in front it? The arena they are fighting in is surrounded by those who no longer buy into the belief that the emperor is wearing clothes when in reality he walks naked. The absurdity and obscenity of the battle for ever greater profits at the cost of the lives of many millions of people in the third world (and not just there) will be starkly exposed. The current format of capitalistic thinking will increasingly become unsustainable. The immorality of selective availability of life saving drugs will eventually force politicians to write new laws to greatly curtail the corporations’ willful withholding of their drugs for the sake of creating an artificial supply shortfall.
    I am not concerned that the established pharmaceutical companies no longer invest in expensive research if deprived of their absurdly high profits. There is a gigantic market waiting for them that will easily let them recapture their investments. Only this time greed will not be the lone incentive. There will also be the fear of being over-taken by the new crop of companies that have understood the concept that there are 7 billion people in this world and not just a handful of privileged ones. No one lives on an island any longer.

    All the best,

  11. Thanks Subodh for your feedback.

    The west (say USA) if not fully free of its problems too. How many Americans are in jail in America? In other words, crime/corruption is present in America too! And there are white collar crimes in US too, eg. Bernie Madoff’s ponzi scheme, etc.

    Patents by themselves are a good idea, but enforcing a patent could at times have an overall negative impact. For eg., if the patent holder demands unreasonable profits as is being discussed by Shekhar, then, the courts should be allowed to intervene on moral grounds. I know courts decide what is legal (not moral), so there should be legislation to say, if the patent is infringed for purpose of saving lives, then, the Govt. (not the dying patient), will pay reasonable royalty to the patent holder.

    After all, if the govt. believes the new Highway can best be built by demolishing your house, then they will pay you reasonable cost for your house and buy it. Just as house is your physical property, a patent is your intellectual property.

  12. Hello Harb,
    If those companies would not allow lower prices to save people’s lives here too some so-called extreme spiritualists like Ramana Maharshi could sit in total peace even if the whole of India was dying.
    Please read Horst vollman’s recent comment, he is optimist about change..
    every change let that be in any secion of life demands some sacrifice this is what modern socalists, historians says then why person like or so-called person like Ramana Maharshi will try to change it..and especially when such Ramana Maharshi kind of person is 100% sure that people (goverenence system) want him to use only in that hard phase and afterwards they are again going todo the same things.. In such cases any spritualists person will allow to take the descision to that society…He is well aware ‘death’ can not be avoided and every one is in authority to avoid the death…He give justice legally as well as morally by keeping silence too…if he feels sclience is necessary at that time..This is what I think 🙂

    Thanks and take care..subodh

  13. Hello Horst,

    I have not seen the world to the fullest..but I do believe in writing by good people let that be Martin Luther King, Gandhiji and many others…if we read to their thoughts they had never talk about wrappers they had talk about contents..capatilists, socalists, communists, monarchy these are all wrappers what should be the content..are your people happy, do their basic needs(food, clothes and shelter) fullfilled…none of the governence of this world carefully thinks on it..
    and that is why I listen to the necessary of profits, material gains etc..which is correct to the some extent but it id not digestable at all..
    I think most important thing is we should go and ask these companies what was the force driving behind invention made by Newton, Einstein were they looking for profits..or Alexander Fleming, Lui Paster. and this is what legal authorities should understand and legal authorities should convey goverence these facts..But if this is what is supposed to happen then world has unite on some common things and further has to force them to take some descision..but alas…what happens in G20 nations meet…not other than government sponsored multi starer picnic..their speaches, meetings are just like different event shows in these picnic..if we want to change the picture then world organisations must become powerful other than any nation otherwise nothing is going to change..

    tell me any fruit ful descision taken by world organistion, g8, g10, g20….gn organisation that has given some relief to human that we value your life and existence on this planet..
    or if this does not happen then today or tomorrow some one or some group will become powerfull and that will do the best suited job..(he/she or those group members may ride on horse/s with hunter/s or sword/s in his/her or those hands)..may be we will be thrown back in every section of lives..after that..we (law systems, people world organisations) have to make them(goverenence system) understand that no one can stop (including any god, almighty, christ) unrest of the people after certain limit…still there is time take the proper desciion..

    thanks and take care..subodh

  14. Thanks Raju,

    Yes it is known to be a truth that court decides what is legal and not moral.
    And this is not a right statement..because any system come into existence because of some moral values..that system has got goverence, politicians, laws, security systems as dimensions/walls so they are also based on some moral..

    the best example is can show me a marrage (yes as event, legal process and no as a moral) but you can show me married couples (legal existence) with moral value of marriage..
    so finally there is a mortal valuein giving justince that moral value is will give justice(I will show the truth) when aksed to me..

    thanks and take care…subodh

  15. Sir, thank you for this very important post .

    As a doctor who has given up conventional medical practice and is now into “Energy Medicine and Healing”, I’d like to state a few points that might help create awareness about the glaring, but conveniently ignored flaws and the exploitation that goes on in the name of “Modern Medical Care”.

    1) Most of the diseases, including Diabetes and Hypertension can be COMPLETELY HEALED without medicines.

    I have documented evidence for the same and we now have a team of doctors (specialists- neurosurgeon, cardiologist, cardiothoracic surgeon and a professor in radiology) who are practising “Integrated Medicine and Energy Medicine “.

    At this point, let me share a story about what happened when I first tried to approach some frontline hospitals about 5 yrs ago. This was to demonstrate the healing that I was doing, with evidence from relevant research from various scientific streams , that supported this form of healing.

    After witnessing the demonstration , which was later recorded and telecast by CNN-IBN, one of the M.D s of a famous hospital agreed to open a unit for “Holistic Medicine” in the hospital.

    I started practising at that hospital in the afternoons, and I was being initially “tested” with patients with chronic pain due to various causes being referred to me .

    All the patients started experiencing complete pain relief in one or two sessions alone.

    This went on for about a month.

    One day, the M.D called me to his room and told me ” Dr, this will not work here. You will have to do a minimum of 10 healing sessions with each patient, regardless of whether the pain goes off in one or two sessions. We will make them pay for the 10 sessions as a “package” . Otherwise , this will not be cost-effective for the hospital. We will have to shut down the hospital if you start healing patients completely, so fast ! ”

    I explained to him that this was impossible and unethical for me to do so. I simply couldn’t do what he was asking me to do. If the patient got healed in one session. So be it. That was that !

    I quit working at that hospital that very moment.

    Eventually, I started my own healing centre .

    The point is simple – Conventional medical business model depends on the pharmaceutical companies for survival, and the pharma companies in turn are dependent on the medical system to not only survive, but thrive.

    At what cost?

    At the cost of patients continuing to swallow useless pills often throughout their lives unwittingly cutting their lifespans short , thanks to the dangerous side-effects of these so called “medicines”.

    And, never getting “cured” in the process.

    Reminds me of what one patient of mine, being treated with chemotherapy for cancer recently told me ” Dr, I don’t know whether I’m dying of cancer or I’m dying because of the “treatment” for cancer in the form of this horrible chemotherapy side-effects !”

    NOONE is interested in breaking this unhealthy and dangerous nexus between drug manufacturers/pharma companies and doctors/hospitals.

    Why would they? End of the day, there is tons of easy money at stake.

    Who cares what happens to the patient?

    Till, THESE PEOPLE THEMSELVES BECOME PATIENTS ! Then, the first thing they look for is alternative forms of treatment. Because, they know only too well that the medicines they manufacture is nothing but poison in most cases !

    2) Let me come to the next point relevant to your post – Spurious drugs.

    That is a thriving industry by itself.

    The way these injurious spurious drugs are packaged, it is usually next to impossible to distinguish them from the original drugs manufactured by “reputed” pharma companies who hold the patent for these drugs!

    The point to note here is that the COST of these spurious durgs is the same as that of the “original”

    How does one deal with this? especially in India, where most of the drugs are available OTC (over the counter).

    3) Whoever wants to know what is really happening with the health care industry, please watch the movie SICKO , by Michael Moore.

    4) The time has come for us to tap into our own powers of healing. WITHOUT medicines. And that is happening with “Energy Medicine”.

    “The next frontier of medicine is Energy Medicine” – Dr.Mehmet Oz, on the OPRAH Winfrey show.

    And, this form of healing has its origin, nowhere else, but in INDIA.

    This hasn’t been patented. as yet. And, I’m planning to patent it ! 🙂 🙂

    Before the U.S tries to steal it from us like the patent for turmeric and neem ! 🙂

    Best wishes and love,

  16. Hi Shekar,

    You are not rip- wan-winkle are you???

    You wake up late to news. Looks like.

    Everyone knows about Big Pharma and Patents and generic Drugs.

    Nothing new.

    Ayurvedic Products are BANNED from imports into EU.

    Its all about Money, Politics. So whats NEW????

  17. This is new: From Speedy Singhs to speed of light and beyond!

    More so since Shekhar wrote a few words about speed of light at Twitter but those got curtailed. Perhaps he was going to say something about linear and non-linear speed of light. Anyway here is my explanation. Not necessary that I may be right but not necessary that I may be wrong. But what I can promise is that it will be something new. Also it is not all humor.

  18. sorry shekhar off topic..
    Yes, and atleast it is coming up that there is something faster than speed of light..90 nana sec difference is not too will be really interesting to see whats comming up in next year and how it will be comming as practical applications in our real world scnerio..

    what I think is our world scientists have sent so many masses in space and they could not fire any satellite with speed of light or fired satellite should be able to move/travel like/with speed of light in space..I may be wrong..if ‘e=mc square’ is right then you should be able to do it..

    if we could fire a satellite which can travel with speed of light in space it will acclerate the research work going on in space about space, galexy, we will save a lot of time, energy..I am sure I am not the first of this opnion..but mainly we do not firmley know what space is…

    thanks and take care..subodh

  19. am trying to understand the idea of definitive speed of light when we know that in black holes that concept does not exist. will try ad blog about my questions next, thanks, Subodh, shekhar

  20. Rudra, LOL

    Pharmaceutical companies are to the health industry what pesticides are to crops. An alarmingly growing number of people, especially in the west, are marching into disaster because of how the pharmaceutical companies have got them addicted to their products using the perfect salesman strategy: “Create a problem where there is none, and then offer a solution to it”.
    If a child in his nature does not behave like a statue, feed him some medication for ADD. If someone’s cat dies and feels sad, feed him some powerful psychiatric drugs. When winter’s around the corner, make it look like everyone’s gonna get the flu and sell them flu shots. If someone’s got back pain, get him hooked to painkillers. And so on….are the marketing strategies of these companies.

    It is a vicious alliance, that almost seems orchestrated, between the modern food corporations and pharma companies. The food corporations sell mass-produced junk poison as food, and the complex diseases that are thereby caused are given solutions by the pharma better than ambulance chasers. How do expect such an industry to have any morals?

    Only when a Vedic system is installed from the inside out, hopefully starting with India, which would inherently propagate a simple organic lifestyle, will there be any real solutions.

  21. Brahma,

    You said it. It is not the lack of Human Ingenuity that this Planet suffers ( never mind Humanity – animals , plants , even the air we breathe and the very earth is choking ).

    I wrote on Shekhar’s Paani Blog – that this whole Panic mongering about Water Scarcity only feeds the Problem , does not create a Solution. Earth has 70% Water – We only have to think out of box , as to how to harness this Saline resource into fresh water – there are lots of Water Filtering Techniques , whose Patents are owned by Oil Companies ! Again Battery Technology Patents are held by Oil Companies ! WHo in turn are owned by the Same Banking Cartels , that Manmohan Singh( India’s Nominated , Un-Elected Rajya Sabha MP, PM) belongs to !

    Initially , I used to think that Big Pharma , who are controlled by Bankers , only wanted Quarterly profits – and all their Evil doings are due to Human Greed. But this is not Greed . This is Well Planned and Well Executed Strategy.

    We only have to take facts for what they are !!

    As you said , Brahma , ‘ Create a Problem and then offer a Costly Solution’. Not many people see it – not even the so-called ‘ educated’ Indians , who just strut around with their idea of good English. As Srila Prabhupada used to say , this Kali age especially of these times is comprised of the ‘ Cheaters and the Cheated’. Nothing more to add to that !

    Vedic Technology , also called ‘ Rishi Krishi Vidhaan’ – is the only solution. Organic Farming , and Enlightened Living based on the World’s only true non-sectarian way , which is also mankind’s Original Esoteric Teaching , the Vedic System is the only way.

    It is also part of the universal Dharma – or Sanatana Dharma. This has to establish itself , first in Bharat.


    The idea of definitive speed of light is Flawed. Science is being taught , like History with a Political ideology. In fact Scientific Establishments of the World are being run ike the Madeival Church.

    I am saying this , who am a Research Scientist myself , and have a PhD in Electrical Engineering. Read more about Michelson Morley Experiments ,and Autodynamics – Dr. Carezani proved beyond doubt how Einsetin’s ‘ Special theory of Relativity’ – was created and in order to accomodate his theory , Einstein had to bend ‘Space-Time’, in a Gravitational Plane. how all this is , Baloney ! Autodynamics provides for a local relativistic space in which speed of light may have limits , but is not a necessary and sufficient condition at all !!

    what Blackholes are and why the speed of light hits a singularity is again a necessity of the ‘Special theory of relativity’. which has been proved to be Baloney , but is still taught in Schools.

    Very much like the Aryan Invasion theory in History , or how beyond a doubt it has been proved with Fossil Evidence that Apes and Men walked the earth at the same time ! Naras and Vanaras ! But all this is chucked away as ‘Anamolous Evidence’ and is part of what is called ‘ Forbidden Archeology’.

    So much for McAulean Education.

  22. Greetings to Brahmastra and Rudra!

    There are many many ashrams in north america run by Hindu monks that follow the Vedic lifestyle, there is one in pennsylvania that charges 500 dollars per month and includes everything that humans need to do for living a healthy, active and fulfilling life; organic farming, ayurveda, yoga, vedic chanting etc. are central to their core daily functioning 🙂

    Please go thru the below links at your leisure:

    Fairfield is a town of about 10,000 people and every day 2000 of them come together twice to practice and revel in the TM technique.

  23. In China a strange experiment was done. The emperor was very much impressed by Lao Tzu, Chuang Tzu, Lieh Tzu. He lived long enough to be in contact with the master Lao Tzu, then his disciple Chuang Tzu, then his disciple Lieh Tzu. These three people impressed on the emperor a very novel, original idea, but it has not been followed. The moment the emperor died the old vested interests came back and destroyed something of tremendous value.
    Lieh Tzu, Chuang Tzu and Lao Tzu had a strange idea: that no doctor should be paid by his patients, because if the patient has to pay the doctor, knowingly or unknowingly the doctor would like the patient to remain sick as long as possible — that is his business. If he cures him quickly he cannot earn much.
    A famous story Chuang Tzu used to tell was about an old doctor. His three sons were studying medicine.
    The first son came back from the university and he said, “Now you are too old, you rest. I will take care of your patients.” So the father allowed him to take care of his patients.
    After two days the young man came to the old father and said, “It is very strange. You are such an experienced doctor and a woman you have been treating for thirty years, I have cured her in two days. And I am fresh from the college, I don’t know much.”
    The father said, “You idiot, it is that woman who has paid all your expenses in medical college. She was going to pay for your two other brothers. She was rich enough, there was no need for her to be healthy. And she was my main source of income.”
    Lao Tzu and Chuang Tzu impressed on the emperor that if the patient has to pay the doctor, you are creating a very dangerous situation. The doctor’s interest will be that the patient remains a patient as long as possible. And he will apparently show concern that he wants to cure you. He will be in a dilemma himself.
    The emperor asked Lao Tzu, “Then what is your suggestion? — because this has been always the case.”
    He said, “The solution is very simple. All doctors should be paid by the government, and the whole population should pay the government — nothing to do with the doctor. The doctor has not to be paid because he has cured a patient; the doctor has to be paid if his patient has remained healthy. Every month the patient has to report, `I am healthy, you can pay my doctor.’ If the patient falls sick, then the doctor cannot be paid: `What business are you doing here? If people are falling sick, then what use is your medicine, your knowledge, your experience?'”
    So a very strange system… but the emperor was impressed, it was absolutely logical. And in my understanding, one day it is going to be the system in the whole world, because its logic is very clear. The doctor should be paid for health, not for sickness. And if his patients are sick, then his salary should be cut. His interest should be in the health of the patient, not in his disease. And the patient has not to pay him, the patient has to pay to the government a certain fee to be kept healthy. The government pays the doctor to keep people healthy, and if they are not healthy, he misses his salary.

  24. Hi,
    Thanks for the interesting blog. I have just one question, most research is funded by federal funds which is tax payers money. Then isn’t it ridiculous that we have to pay to access journal articles published out of research that our tax money funded! Additionally, we have to pay more for non-generic drugs as pharma companies place patents on them.

  25. Rajkumar V Saab,

    The logic of your story is compelling. It is thought provoking.

    If I were a govt. Doctor, I would worry if my pay would be cut if the number of cancer cases rose, or a relatively new, not easily curable/controllable disease like aids came along.

    The medical community has found cures to formerly deadly diseases like maybe cholera, polio, etc.


  26. Chakra,

    I think the US is going to become a Hindu Rashtra pretty soon 🙂 Thanks for that info.

  27. Quickly on all these issues of morality shekhar, would u be able to live without ur driver, maid, cook etc which u get because of all ur wealth?

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