Chapter 09: Research Money: The Economics of Drug Companies; Philanthropy

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Chapter 09: Research Money: The Economics of Drug Companies; Philanthropy

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In this chapter, Dr. Gutterman talks about working with "big pharma" and operating largely independently of MD Anderson. He discusses the economics of pharmaceuticals, noting a lesson he learned from philanthropist Mary Lasker, who said "money is frozen energy." He talkss about his own entrepreneurial spirit, linking it to his father's business ventures and critiques "conservative approaches" to drug experimentation. Dr. Gutterman ends this section with a passionate description of Houston philanthropy at that time. He then responds to a question about the downside of working with drug companies, concluding, "Don't count on the drug companies," because he discovered interferon's hairy cell leukemia at MD Anderson, with private money.

Identifier

GuttermanJ_02_20120413_C09

Publication Date

4-13-2012

Publisher

The Historical Resources Center, The Research Medical Library, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center

City

Houston, Texas

Topics Covered

The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center - Industry Partnerships; The Researcher; Industry Partnerships; On Pharmaceutical Companies and Industry; Business of Research; Fiscal Realities in Healthcare; On Philanthropy and Volunteerism; On Research and Researchers; Understanding Cancer, the History of Science, Cancer Research; The History of Health Care, Patient Care; Professional Practice; The Professional at Work; Overview; Definitions, Explanations, Translations; Character, Values, Beliefs, Talents; Personal Background

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

Disciplines

History of Science, Technology, and Medicine | Oncology | Oral History

Transcript

Tacey Ann Rosolowski, PhD

Did you have any big shifts in perspective? I mean, because this was really approaching research from an entirely different way—going through drug companies, basically.

Jordan Gutterman, MD

Yes. Yeah.

Tacey Ann Rosolowski, PhD

So what changed, and how did that enhance your outlook? Or what did you learn from the experience?

Jordan Gutterman, MD

Well, now—okay, so that is going to come up later. It’s a very insightful question. It’s a very good question. To go back for just a second—and I’m really going back because you’ve opened up an interesting question. I haven’t talked about this today, for sure, or yesterday, and I don’t think with Lesley even. But actually, the first compound I worked with was BCG, and I may have talked about that.

Tacey Ann Rosolowski, PhD

You talked about it some in the first—

Jordan Gutterman, MD7

This was back in 1971, 1972. It was an immune stimulant. And now immunotherapy is becoming a field. It is used to—it is approved for bladder cancer. And we bought that stuff. Well, yeah, I think we mostly bought it. I’m not going to go into that. I didn’t see a great future for this. And then when I became familiar with interferon and went to that conference in ‘75 when no one would go here, I knew we had something we could measure, we could quantitate it, it was a protein, and I could see that cloning genes could be the future here. That was much more exciting than using some old vaccine that had been around. Also, I thought the science of interferon was much more interesting.

The first study with interferon, I was not with a drug company. We bought the stuff. We bought it. We actually—you know—and Mary Lasker gave that first million. Then I had to raise the money. So that was the first track I took after BCG, treading new ground, all the time not knowing this. And I do need to talk in more detail about the Interferon Foundation, because Mary Lasker turned the switch on. Without that, nothing would have happened. I mean, nobody gets really the right credit when they talk about interferon today because the history of all this stuff. I find that people forget history, and I think history is important. I think what we are doing, what you are doing with the library, what MD Anderson is doing—you need this for younger people to learn this. And a lot of it is on the fly. I mean, I—so that was not with a drug company.

So that is how I started. Then I realized we can’t keep buying this stuff, and there is a new historical technology—recombinant DNA. By the way, one of the co-discoverers—inventors of recombinant DNA, Stanley Cohen, was my resident when I was an intern at Duke. I still see him. He is on our Lasker jury. So he and Herb Boyer, who was the co-founder of Genentech started this whole thing in ’73, just at the time when we were thinking about all this stuff. It’s really exciting.

So I realized we had to work with companies. You can’t make—you can’t—I mean—the government is not going to do it. MD Anderson is not going to do it. You can’t afford it. So it was a natural thing to drift into. When I went to Roche in ‘78 with Mary Lasker and her nephew Jim Fordyce and her sister Alice Fordyce, I was overwhelmed by the technology of the Roche Institute. Now, that was an unusual place because they had set up a research institute on the campus of Hoffman-La Roche in Nutley, New Jersey. I was overwhelmed by the columns, by the science. They were trying to clone genes. I mean, this was science fiction. This was total science fiction. I mean, I could have flown back on my own I was so excited to see the power of working with intelligent scientists and business people in the pharmaceutical industry. That has changed a lot. Not completely. We will come back to that later. We have had to adjust to the times.

Then simultaneously I heard about Genentech that was started April 7, 1976, which is ironically—the anniversary was just last Saturday. It’s also the day—it was two years to the date that my father died that Genentech was formed. And I learned about that. Then Jim Fordyce, Mary Lasker’s nephew was—I’m answering your question about big pharma and biotech. Jim Fordyce shared an office with Bob Swanson, the founder and CEO of Genentech who unfortunately died of a brain cancer. Mary, Jim, and I went out there to meet Swanson in ’78 or ’79, in San Francisco. I remember going to another company that was started earlier but which was never a success story—Cetus—C-E-T-U-S—over in Berkeley and then going to Genentech. And Genentech was mean and lean. Cetus had—they brought in a guy named—well, I forget his name for sure—but they brought in the chairman of the board. It was a very fancy lunch. And Genentech was a bunch of guys in tennis shoes trying to clone genes. I remember coming out of Genentech, and Mary says to me, after we had been to both the same day, “So which one are you impressed with Jordan?” And I said, “Cetus. That is really an impressive place.” She shook her head. She was a lady of few words. She shook her head, kind of frowned, and said, “These boys got it.” That was Mary Lasker. “These boys got it.” Those were her words, and she was right. Genentech became a multi-multi-multi-billion dollar company, which is now owned by Hoffmann-La Roche. It is still a research subsidiary. And Cetus is nowhere to be found. Mary got it. You know, she could just see this stuff. It was amazing.

So then I got the hook of biotech. Again, frankly, at MD Anderson in the early ‘80s, nobody was cloning genes. It wasn’t—you just—it wasn’t a thing you did in academics. I could see what biotech was doing, and of course the big pharma, and I recognized that some of the pharmaceutical companies— not all, though—they were very slow getting into proteins and cloning. Roche was early, and Schering-Plough was early.

Tacey Ann Rosolowski, PhD

Why was academic research so slow to pay attention?

Jordan Gutterman, MD

I’m not sure. I’m not sure. Although—well, I’m partially inaccurate here because Mike Bishop and Harold Varmus, who shared the Lasker prize in ‘82 and the Nobel Price, I think, in ‘89 for cloning oncogenes—discovering and cloning oncogenes—were doing cloning. But they were in San Francisco, and that is where all of this was going on at Genentech, at least—you know—in the Bay Area. So they were doing cloning. Let’s put it this way—a little more accurately—MD Anderson was not doing it, because I remember coming back from the Lasker awards in ’82, I think it was, when Bishop and Varmus and Ray Erikson, Bob Gallo, and one other person—I don’t know—I think it was Dale Kaiser—shared the Lasker award. But the key ones with oncogenes were Bishop and Varmus who won the Nobel Prize. They were in San Francisco. I remember coming back and talking to some colleagues of mine saying, “We have nobody working on oncogenes here.” I mean, we got—these are cancer genes. And there was one guy who stayed another few years and then opened a B&B in the state of Washington. I haven’t seen him since. Now, of course, that has all changed, but we were rather slow in basic research. We were rather slow.

Tacey Ann Rosolowski, PhD

I am sorry. That was a funny little move there. I am just going to open a B&B. (laughter)

Jordan Gutterman, MD

He couldn’t get grants. And I was frustrated with that. So I looked wherever—and the same with my new one too.

Tacey Ann Rosolowski, PhD

Now, let me just ask you, was he not getting grants because he was working on oncogenes and nobody was seeing it, or—?

Jordan Gutterman, MD

No. Well, I’m just not sure he was extremely good. He was smart, and I liked talking to him, but he probably—and I don’t know why, but I think he just couldn’t get the support he needed. But we were way behind the eight ball. But—you know—here—but I am not criticizing because this place is powerful clinically. We’ve never developed a hugely competitive basic science. There are some very good basic scientists. But I will go anyplace. I don’t just stay within these walls. I never have. I will go anyplace in the world, or companies, whatever it takes to put the pieces together that I have to figure out we need, because I like collaborations. Not everybody is that way, but I do—I’m not threatened by it, and there are a lot of people a lot smarter than I am—but putting the pieces together.

So I could see that big pharma with especially Hoffmann-La Roche had this amazing thing of purifying proteins and then trying to clone the genes. Don’t forget, in the ‘70s this was not done routinely. It was certainly not commercial. As I said, the first commercial product of recombinant DNA was insulin, and it was put in the clinic, I think, just a few months before interferon. That was a big deal. That is why Time did that cover story at the end of—March 31, 1980—“The Big IF,” but it was—and that is a very, very balanced article. When you see it on the cover of Time, it gets played—you know—oh my God—all this hype. But people, if they are intelligent, are going to read this and try to understand parts of it, you know?

Tacey Ann Rosolowski, PhD

Uh-hunh (affirmative).

Jordan Gutterman, MD

And people—you can’t—I mean—and we need to communicate more. I think that has changed, by the way. I want to stay on track here, but you asked me—I think that has changed. Scientists are much more—completely different today. They are more willing to get their names in the paper and explain the science much, much, much more. It is much less frowned upon, in my opinion. Now, if said incorrectly with hype and blah, blah, blah, of course. So I think that’s a really good thing because the scientific education is tough. It is tough for us to understand stuff because science is moving so rapidly. Technology is moving this still so rapidly. But I could see then back—

Tacey Ann Rosolowski, PhD

Let me just clarify for the recording, because you were following up on a conversation that we had before the recorder was turned on, we were talking earlier about how a couple of decades ago it was a different attitude about doctors who would actually speak in the media. It was actually frowned on with suspicion.

Jordan Gutterman, MD

Yeah. Well, doctors being people who see patients as opposed to basic science, there is a little bit of difference there, but go ahead.

Tacey Ann Rosolowski, PhD

No, I just wanted to clarify things.

Jordan Gutterman, MD

0:47:44:3

Yeah. Okay, yeah. Good. Okay, I understand. So whenever I went to Genentech I just—I mean—I was so excited to walk in those walls and see the power of venture money. And yes, I’m sure as they got bigger and bigger there was more bureaucracy, but I can tell you Bob Swanson and Genentech—they let those guys work. And that’s me—you know—freedom with as few restraints. Obviously you have to have some boundaries, less so at Roche. But again—and in part it was because they had the resources and they were under a certain amount of pressure to produce because they had the money. I loved that. I loved the ability to accomplish—the freedom. That is why I respond to art a lot, because these guys I always used to envy—I still do—Sam Francis, Mark Rothko, Richard Diebenkorn—because they can go in the studio if they have enough money to buy paint. There is no committee. There is no oversight. You can do what you want. If you’re a writer, you can write. Now, you do have to get the approval of people so you can maintain that, right? You have to sell your poems. You have to sell your literature. You have to see your essays or your art or your music and so forth. But I always envied the creative—the artists. It’s that part of me—that side of me. And I think that’s true for a lot of scientists—Joe Goldstein—a lot of Nobel Laureates—Mike Bishop—most of the Nobel Laureates I know that I work very closely with and have become friends with, with the Lasker award—Lasker jury.

One of Mary’s greatest legacies, if not her best, was getting me involved with that. Because I can work with these people, and I see how they think, and I see how they live and so forth. It’s amazing. Most of them are creative people who love the arts. I think that can be so in science if you can construct your environment to have creative people in however you put the pieces together—being very careful with conflicts and paying attention to the I/thou principle that you are not hurting people and so forth. You don’t need to. But—you know—the bigger and the wealthier institutes give the more rules—the more regulations. This comes in part through growing up in a household of a father for which the government and the rules say, “You’re Jewish, and you’re not going to have access to this. And you can’t go to school. And you serve in the army or we’ll kill you or we’ll rape your mother,” or whatever they did. I have a difficult time with too many constraints on my creativity and ability to do things because I think I am doing something that really counts or will count. And that passion—it’s more than passion. It’s intense. I think this is shared by a lot of people, this type of thing. So I was so excited—I still am—about going to any place, whether it is MIT or Harvard or—but it could be Genentech or a pharmaceutical company that has the power. Anybody intelligent doing creative stuff just—it is just the biggest excitement and so forth. And again, biotech and pharmaceuticals at that time—now things have changed, and we will talk about that a little bit later.

So that is how I first started getting involved with—there was no way to get recombinant interferon. We couldn’t keep buying stuff. Eventually we had enough where everybody then could do the hairy cell. So in ‘86 the drug was approved. It was rather anti-climactic, and I wasn’t even sure what would happen next. I never had this experience. Then in the fall of that year, I get a visit by a woman who actually taught me a lot. Her name is Meredith Grimm—she may have changed her name by now—an attractive woman from Schering-Plough. She came to my office, and she said that they wanted to do some post-approval marketing and so forth with interferon. I really didn’t probably understand why she was here. What she was here for was once it gets improved, you want to start enhancing the indications—the use of it. She was very creative about this. What she says is, “We can offer a small grant to a clinical investigator—enough to pay, say, for a nurse—that would do a study in kidney cancer with our drug or in these diseases that have not been approved to get enough data to try to enhance the label because of reimbursement. Because although you can get reimbursement without being on the label, that is called off-label use.” So starting in ’86, and going for the next several years, I got very involved and very intrigued by the whole business part of making drugs.

I work with a guy named Steve Huber here, a research pharmacist—I think he is a PharmD—about reimbursements. We have fascinating problems. I’m not going to talk about them right now, but we worked out a lot of issues, even issues regarding patients who would come here who could not afford the interferon for an indication that was really needed, including hairy cell and others. Reimbursements where the company would have a certain supply to give to MD Anderson in exchange for things, that’s so patients could have access, so accessibility to this expensive drug. Don’t forget that after insulin it was the first recombinant protein for us, approved by the FDA. There was an antibody—okay—I forget the name of it now. I think Ortho Biotech made it. It was produced in part by recombinant DNA, but interferon was the first recombinant—really the first—the second recombinant molecule, I think, approved by the FDA. So this was all new ground, and it was interesting. It was fascinating.

Also, we had enough drug, by these little grants, to begin to expand use. And Schering, in part because of Meredith and I’m sure other scientists there—she was a nurse—is a nurse. I haven’t seen her in years. She left Schering. But because of the people at Schering—that I began to work now—see, I had worked with Roche before. Now I began to work with Schering in this issue and consulted with them. They decided to go after hepatitis C because a guy named Tom Merigan, who co-did the first recombinant study with me from Stanford—a virologist—had shown previously in a few people in Europe—individual patients with hepatitis—that crude interferon could work. Roche, for some reason, made the decision to not go after the market. That is where the big money came and the big use, because if you asked me today what is the biggest impact of interferon in patients, it would be hepatitis C.

Now, there are more drugs—Gilead is a major company that has produced drugs. But interferon, intron, other interferons are still a mainstay. The trouble is toxicity, but it’s still the natural defense against viruses, so interferon is not going away. It’s just—like a lot of drugs, it’s going to be other drugs in combination or supplanted and so forth. Now, eventually Roche got into it. So that was interesting.

And I remember—fast-forwarding a little bit—I think it was ’82. I was in Chicago presenting, and I—well, around that time in the—not in ’82, ’92, but in the late ‘80s, I remember the first person to call me was from Kidder Peabody. I didn’t know what Kidder Peabody was. It was a brokerage company, I guess. They were having a meeting, and they wanted certain academic people and company people talking about molecules—growth hormone from Genentech, EPO—the erythropoietin and the red cell thing, and other drugs—interferon of course—and then others as they came along. That was my first exposure to one of these meetings where all these biotech people and analysts trying to predict stocks were in the room, and that was fascinating. They would listen to every word you said. They would question you. Again, it was just a whole new world of analysts—mainly analysts—trying to predict which drug company, which biotech company has got the use—what is the market going to be for interferon and so forth. So I started doing some of that. It was very fascinating, very interesting.

Tacey Ann Rosolowski, PhD

That’s another system.

Jordan Gutterman, MD

Yeah, exactly. Then I remembered going to Chicago with one of these meetings, and I presented. A guy stands up, and he presented a curve. I can’t remember who he was, but it was in Chicago. I’m sure I have it in my notes—my oral history. And he shows how interferon in 1986 made $30 million apiece for Schering and Roche, something like that. Because that was always the thing—well, this is no big deal. I mean, The Wall Street Journal didn’t really care about it. Hairy cell leukemia is a small market. They didn’t recognize there would be off-label use. There wasn’t a lot of competition, by the way. Today there are so many interesting compounds for cancer, but then there was very little else to do but chemotherapy. So there was a lot of off-label use, and newer indications—the way Schering was approaching it—were beginning to emerge. So in ‘92—six years later—they showed the first year. And even though I had been to these analysts meetings, I hadn’t really paid much attention. It never was on my radar screen. The first year was $30 million, and then it was $60 million. And then in ’92, if my memory serves me correctly, he showed it had reached $1 billion. I think that’s US, but it could’ve been worldwide—I’m not sure—a combination of Hoffmann-La Roche and Schering-Plough. Man, was I excited. I remember several people saying, “You must be a rich man.” I said, “I haven’t made a penny out of this.” It just—

Tacey Ann Rosolowski, PhD

Why did the money excite you? I mean, why did seeing that increase excite you so much?

Jordan Gutterman, MD

Because, first of all, I think there is a piece of a businessman in me. And of course, it wasn’t my money, but I think the most important is if you can make money for a company—a pharmaceutical company or a biotech—they are going to do this again and again and again, because if it didn’t make money there would be no incentive. I mean, it’s just the way it is. And that is a whole dichotomy between the business world and science and philanthropy, which we may not have time to talk about because I did this largely with philanthropic money. I didn’t make any more. I did it with Mary Lasker, the Interferon Foundation and this Clayton Foundation, which we haven’t talked about as well which is extremely important.

And the whole foundation scene in Houston—you asked about—we will probably not get into it today—what is it about Texas and MD Anderson and so forth? A lot of it are these wealthy foundations, many of them started by bachelors who had no relatives other than nephews and nieces who had made all of this wildcat money to oil money. I remember recently this man who came to see me thirty years after his wife died—thirty-three years. He was here in Houston with his new wife, looking around, looking at these buildings—I walked him around—and he just looked and said, “The beauty of free enterprise,” because he sees the money. This was not built on academic grants. This was built by philanthropy, these buildings. Of course, there are a lot of business aspects to it, but money—

Mary Lasker said something—I still—there are three things that I still remember that she said that just are stunning. One of my favorites is that, “Money is frozen energy.” So that is why it excited me. I could see money as frozen energy; it just releases all this stuff. Another thing she said which is—what she did when she took me to Roche and Genentech, and then it was on—you know—if I was not very effective, it would have died right there, but she could see I was effective even though I am very shy, I think, personally. But when I talk science, or I can talk—I can get going once I am comfortable. I know those roots—I know why I am that way, where I grew up—where at first, when I meet someone, I am extremely—just shy. That is the little boy in me. That is my analytic thing.

But her—another one is, “The greatest gift you can give a person is another person.” I mean, that is profound. It is so profound. So she gave me all this stuff. It’s still ongoing. It’s like life. It’s like my father, my father’s ethics and his history, my mother, and a lot of other people—Rounds with Mom—they’re still alive. I mean, Faulkner once said that, “The past is not dead. In fact, it is not even the past.” You’ve got to think about that. “The past is not dead; it is not even the past.” I think that is why when you live, if you can make the most of affecting people including frozen energy, so—and in a way that could be the title of a book—Money is Frozen Energy—because Texas has all this frozen—I mean—all this oil. All this money came in, and what happened is this—Texas Medical Center. I didn’t understand this, of course, but it was intuitive to come here maybe. There is MD Anderson, meeting Mary Lasker. All this stuff is just constantly being extracted without fracking out of the ground—all this energy. It involves money, it involves science, it involves brains, it involves social stuff, and it involves philanthropy. It’s just amazing stuff. Okay.

Tacey Ann Rosolowski, PhD

Was there any downside of working with a drug company?

Jordan Gutterman, MD

Oh, yeah. Oh, God—okay. So let’s talk about that. You want to just click it for a second?

Tacey Ann Rosolowski, PhD

Sure, no problem.

Jordan Gutterman, MD

I want to just take a deep breath and look at my notes.

[The recorder is paused.]

Tacey Ann Rosolowski, PhD

So we are back after about a five to ten minute break. It is 2:37.

Jordan Gutterman, MD

Okay, you asked me about the downside—the potential downside of working with the—with industry. First of all, for this stage in my career, even though I had a small laboratory and in ‘86 became a chairman of the department—a large department with a lot of different clinical scientists and laboratory scientists—I still was primarily a clinical scientist. And companies make drugs. I mean, it’s very difficult for an academic institute to make drugs, and they should make drugs. So on the one hand it’s very, very exciting, and they have the experience of making drugs. I mean, people don’t understand the complexities, and that’s why, in part, the cost is so high. But to make a drug—I just love reading the history of drugs. And I’ll get to your question about the downside.

But I remember as a kid—again, back in South Dakota—everything always dates back to the same thing. Like a lot of people say everything can be pointed back to Seinfeld, I think everything can pointed back to this little town in South Dakota. And for me, I’m just saying the reason I always go back is because I have a hard time with patience or people when I don’t know what they’re all about. I just don’t fully—I have to get down to the depths of it. I really can’t—I have a hard time when I meet new people. I know I’m digressing slightly. But when I meet new people, and I think I’m going to work with them—whether it’s a company guy, person, whomever—I always want to start out where are you from and get to know them a little bit. I can’t work in a vacuum, but a lot of people aren’t that way. They just want to get down to business. I don’t do well with people like that. I just can’t work with people like that. There has got to be some human connection. There has got be sort of an I/thou relationship—you know—as opposed to I/it.

So my dad had this store in Flandreau—and this, by the way, characterizes a lot of what you’re going to have when you ask me a question. It takes me a while to get there, but I will get there. I’m not thinking about it. I’m just spontaneously free-associating. But the thing is, next door to his was a pharmacist. And the wife of the pharmacist was the daughter of a doctor that my parent’s house—he bought the house. Anyway, they were very close to the pharmacist—Mr. Roth and his wife. My brother and I—my twin brother and I—we would buy our little comic books, which I still wish I had today, of course, like everybody—Captain Marvel, Batman, and all that stuff. But I can make my interferon money, right? But anyway—and we are going for a cherry Coke and stuff like that. But I remember my dad, in high school, saying, “You know, I think you’re going to become a doctor. I think you should go to pharmacy school first. I think you need to learn how drugs are dispensed and made.”

Now, my father had zero background in medicine or science. He was an immigrant. He worked—you know—he owned a grocery store and a department store. That is what his talent was. How prophetic, and did that influence me to make drugs? Because this new one—we have actually discovered a drug. I mean, we have actually started from the discovery, and we’re all the way, ready to go to patients. We’ll tell that story another time. I mean, this is really a story now because I found this stuff. We found—we discovered it out of a plant. Is it because I want to make my dad happy? I don’t know. I’m just sitting here analyzing it because he wanted me to go to pharmacy school. I mean, I still don’t understand that. But I did have this sense of this pharmacist dispensing drugs and grinding them up the old-fashioned way and stuff. And I would see this. I hadn’t actually thought about that too much until just this moment, but the influence of Mr. Roth and Lillian, his wife, and someone who eventually really did do drugs. But part of it also is because, I think, my nature is to understand, but understanding for me without helping—without translating it—the physician side of me just probably can’t deal with that. So to understand something for the sake of the understanding is wonderful, and it is very exciting. I love it. But it’s not complete. It’s not enough. I feel almost guilty, like what are you going to do with that?

Now, a lot of basic scientists won’t agree with you, and they shouldn’t agree with me because a lot of the—some of the most amazing discoveries in science have been with no thought of application. This is a constant theme in science, and I agree with that. Scientists should be free to create like an artist. You never know what—you know—without the thought it could be useful, you know? And that is the same with inventions and so forth. But as a doctor or as a person, for me the greatest joy or the incentive is to—can I take my brain and my understanding and my learning and one day maybe help somebody with it? That’s just me. It doesn’t make it—I’m not better or worse than someone who doesn’t think about application. And I don’t always think about it.

But I was thinking about that pharmacist—Mr. Roth. I have amazing memories since—you know—very emotional about him in his little white coat and grinding with the mortar and pestle, and my mother going in. At the time, when I was a kid in the ‘40s, antibiotics were just being made, you know? Penicillin and sulfa, as a kid—you know—I had those drugs. I was sick, my mother would call, and my father would call Mr. Roth, or they’d just walk next door and get the syrup or whatever, and I’d feel better—for a cough, or if it was ipecac—you know—the old drugs. Then I would see these people on rounds with mom, and sometimes medicines would help, and sometimes they wouldn’t help. So I think it’s natural for me to have realized and to have gravitated in part because of Mary Lasker introducing me—that without the people that make the drugs—that is the industry that makes the drugs. I mean, Boeing makes airplanes. Schering-Plough doesn’t make airplanes. Boeing shouldn’t make drugs. You need that industry. We have to protect industry. It’s a great American triumph, is that industry. And we could talk about what is happening now. It’s changing, but things change. And then biotech came out of cloning genes, which was there with interferon starting in ‘73. The power of being able to take a gene, make a drug out of it, and see a patient get a platelet count and live—I mean—that is amazing. It’s just amazing. That’s the positive side. Now, let’s talk about the downside of the question. See, I get to the que

Chapter 09: Research Money: The Economics of Drug Companies; Philanthropy

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