This is maddening.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is playing the victim again with her “this is what being a woman in politics looks like” card.
She’s accusing an author over at Science Mag of demeaning her because she’s a woman, when he was just telling her she’s wrong. Not because she’s a woman, but because she’s WRONG. Let’s start from the beginning.
AOC was part of a hearing the other day, asking a question about NIH drug investment of Aaron Kesselheim of Harvard. Here’s the exchange in question:
AOC: “Would it be correct, Dr. Kesselheim, to characterize the NIH money that is being used in development and research as an early investment? So the public is acting as an early investor in the production of these drugs. Is the public receiving any sort of direct return on that investment from the highly profitable drugs that are developed from that research?”
AK: “No, in most cases there is – when those products are eventually handed off to a for-profit company, there aren’t licensing deals that bring money back into the coffers of the NIH. That usually doesn’t happen.”
AOC: “So the public is acting as an early investor, putting tons of money in the development of drugs that then become privatized, and then they receive no return on the investment that they have made.”
Her premise is that the public invests tons of money into creating drugs via the NIH and then big pharma swoops in and buys the drugs for pennies. They, of course, then overcharge and gouge patients for these medicines.
According to Dr. Derek Lowe, who has worked for several major pharmaceutical companies since 1989, this premise is just wrong. Here’s part of what he wrote:
I have written numerous times here about the NIH’s role in drug discovery (and that of academic science in general). And I have written many times about the persistent idea that pretty much all drugs are discovered either at the NIH or with NIH funds, whereupon Big Pharma comes in, scoops them up for beads and trinkets, comes up with a catchy name and goes off to reap the big tall stacks of cash. I would say that the exchange above reflects this view, albeit with a bit less vivid detail.
It’s wrong. I know that this picture of the drug-discovery process is just irresistible catnip to some people, but it’s wrong. Here’s why, and here‘s why, and here’s why, and here’s why, and here‘s why again. I’m not saying that there are no drugs that have been born in academic labs, of course – there certainly have been (for a look at one, try Lyrica/pregabalin). But as one of those links details (in an analysis of the 1998-2007 period), such drugs are definitely a minority. This fall I will (I hope) celebrate my 30th year of doing drug discovery research, and never once have I worked on a project where the chemical matter came from an academic lab.
His point being that most drugs are created by the drug companies, not by NIH academia. So then he concludes with the portion, in part, that got AOC all up in a feminist tizzy:
Rep. Ocasio-Cortez: it is absolutely your job to participate in hearings like the above, to question those appearing at them, and to look into such issues. But it’s also your job to know as much about these issues as you can. Right now, your knowledge of where drugs come from appears to be seriously inadequate. To be fair, you’re definitely not alone in that, but there’s no reason not to learn more.
So how did AOC respond to this?
This is what being a woman in politics looks like:— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) February 5, 2019
Disagreements aren’t labeled as differing opinions. They’re labeled as one’s knowledge being ‘inadequate.’
As a reminder, I’m not the one who testified about Big Pharma under oath to Congress.
It was an expert witness. https://t.co/hgpFoZsgWY
Oh puhleeze! Her analysis of his analysis of her knowledge being seriously inadequate is INSANELY INADEQUATE.
The reason Lowe used the word ‘inadequate’ is not because she’s a woman, but because she is wrong! It’s not about having differing opinions or differing genitalia, he’s telling AOC she’s got her facts wrong! This is his industry. He’s been involved in drug discovery for decades, even before she was born. He knows what the heck he’s talking about.
But all she gets out of this is that Lowe is mansplaining to her?
What this really tells me is that she’s not willing to listen to facts and admit she’s wrong, which is something many Democrats have a problem with. No, she needs to find ‘facts’ that support her agenda to push this country towards Medicare For All.