AIDs Research Failure, Who should be blamed?

A horrific but not surprising story (excuse my ongoing sarcasm in this article) from the Daily Mail about the current state of AIDs research:

"The search for a cure for Aids was in crisis last night after it was revealed that two supposed "miracle" vaccines not only fail to protect people from the virus, but could put them at greater risk of becoming infected."

This is terrible, how could it be?! Shouldn’t the free-market supply an efficient outcome?!

Oh wait it wasn’t the free-market that F-ed this up:

"The US government alone pumps £250million [$495.65 million] a year into research to try to find a "Holy Grail" vaccine which would put an end to Aids."

Someone is on the trail of figuring out who the moron is:

"John Moore, an Aids virologist at America’s Weill Cornell Medical College, said: "I do think that what happened in this trial is an example of scientists blindly rushing into dangerous things."

Wait, what would cause scientists to blindly rushing into dangerous things. Lets look at possible reasons:

  1. Scientists are idiots
  2. The government is giving them money without them having to worry about the costs.

Do I need a poll here? It’s number 2.

Solution: Stop funding it with public money, let the free market create it!


Q: Well, what if the free market isn’t doing enough research in it?

A: Then obviously, they find it more profitable for scientists to find cures in other things like drug resistant staph infections, which a loyal reader sent me a CNN article about. Lets take a look, the article says 90,000 people die from the staph infection in the U.S.; 17,000 killed by AIDs.

Remember resources are scarce. For every hour, dollar, test tube, research lab space, a scientist uses for AIDs is one less hour, dollar, test tube, research lab space, a scientist could be using for something else. What decides that? The profitability and most times when it comes to health profits, its the number of people who get it and how deadly it is.

Obviously, the cure for something that isn’t deadly is easier to live with than something that kills…

Supply and Demand

Published in: on March 22, 2008 at 3:42 am  Leave a Comment  

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