Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Patrick Swayze, cancer and medicines

Today, the actor of 2 famous movies "Dirty Dancing" and "Ghost", Patrick Swayze, died. He was 57 years old. He died of pancreatic cancer. He was diagnosed of that killer disease sometime 1 1/2 year ago. And today, a number of my friends in facebook expressed their sadness for the death of this good looking and talented actor. Me too.

One friend posted in her facebook status today this quote from the actor before he died: "I've had the time of my life. No I never felt like this before. Yes I swear it's the truth. And I owe it all to you."

Pavarotti also succumbed to pancreatic cancer. I know of a rich lady here in Manila, a good friend of my sister, had pancreatic cancer. When it was detected early last year, she was on stage 4 already. Within 4 months she died. A famous Filipino action star, Rudy Fernandez, also died of this disease.

Former Philippine President Cory Aquino died of colon cancer just recently. My sister in law died of colon cancer too, about 4 years ago. She's the wife of my elder brother who died of prostate cancer a few months after she died.

Some leftist guys push for IPR and patent confiscation of important medicines via compulsory licensing (CL) plus government-imposed price control. They say that many poor people die of cancer and other killer diseases because the medicines against these diseases are expensive, because of the profit-hungry multinational pharma companies that invented those medicines.

Well, cancer and other killer diseases do not choose their victims. Rich and poor, men and women, they can die. A number of rich people also die of those diseases even if they have the money to pay for those expensive medicines. Like Patrick Swayze and Pavarotti. Like former President Cory, action star Rudy Fernandez, wife of super-rich Congressman Charlie Cojuangco, Rio Diaz, who died of breast cancer. Like former Philippine Senator Robert Barbers who died of throat cancer. And even the wife of the owner of Mercury Drug, the biggest drugstore in the Philippines, also died of cancer.

Money can't kill cancer yet. That's why we need more medicine innovation, and patent-confiscation demand by the left does not help in encouraging medicine innocation. Diseases evolve, people's lifestyle evolve, medicines should also evolve. Demonizing the medicine innovators as blood-hungry multinational capitalists is wrong. They are capitalists, yes, and capitalists produce things which are most needed by humanity and in the process, they make profit. It's among their incentives for doing so.

1 comment:

Mike Jones said...


Thanks for the article.

I have a friend that’s fighting stage 4 colon cancer so I know what a dreadful disease it is.

I had my first colonoscopy at age 50. A polyp was found and removed. I’m now 58 and I had my second colonoscopy a few weeks ago. Nothing was found this time.

I just want to remind and encourage everyone to get screened for colon cancer. The procedure itself (colonoscopy) is not painful, with the possible exception of the I.V. The preparation the day before is a little inconvenient. Plan to be close to a bathroom.

The ‘official’ guideline is to have a colonoscopy if you are older than 50 and every 10 years thereafter. That is, if you’re at average risk. Check with your physician. Schedule an appointment today!