Big Pharma Save Lives
During the past century the lifespan of Americans increased by 30 years (from 44 to 77 years, see chart above, which also shows projected future increases in life expectancy), and almost all of that increase was due to one class of medical products: vaccines.
Children today receive 14 different vaccines by the time they are two years old. Although most people don't know it, nine of those 14 vaccines -- which save about eight million lives a year -- were made by one man. And that man, Maurice Hilleman, spent much of his career at Merck. If he hadn't -- if he'd stayed in academia -- he would never have been able to convert his dedication and brilliance into the products that save our lives. When Michael Moore talked about better health, it would have been nice to have seen Hilleman's image on the screen.
"Sick Propaganda" by Dr. Paul Offit in today's WSJ
MP: Note that Merck alone spent $4 billion on health care R&D in 2004, Pfizer spent almost $8 billion, and Johnson and Johnson spent $5.2 billion, see the list of Big Pharma here and their R&D epxenditures.