Using profit to solve health issues does not work in a pandemic, perhaps at all.
This is a really complex issue. How should we fund the research for more effective drugs to treat conditions that may affect millions, knowing that many will not work and then determine how to price those that do work to cover the costs not just of the drug that did work, but the research for those that did not.
The cost to produce the drug has components that include the search for the potential candidates, the development of the tests on animals and then humans and the ongoing monitoring to determine its effect.
The mechanism to do this has been to have for profit companies get patents for their discoveries and then get a period between 5, 12 and sometimes over 20 years to be able to exclusively supply the drug and set its price.
There is no question that the system can be better. The question is how and despite many attempts by those that have practical alternatives, it does not appear enough has changed to make medicine more accessible.
Could the Covid-19 pandemic provide the public support to overcome the financial resistance that those that benefit from the status quo?
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Guest: Toby Shapshak | Publisher at Stuff magazineLISTEN TO PODCAST
A look at some of the shift predicted by TrendWatching that may take hold as a result of the impact of Covid-19 and the growing impact of climate change.
Image credit: "Day 234 let me look into my crystal ball" by terri_bateman is marked with CC0 1.0
One of the worst years this century did not stop some industries from their best year yet.
2020 was supposed to be the year that offered the best view of the future, a 2020 view. Turns out it was not such a good view.
Despite it being one of the worst years of the century some businesses will end the year with it being one of their best.
Like most disruption, it never affects everyone the same way, changes harm some and benefits others.
The global changes that will flow from the pandemic will see some industries struggle to recover while others will never look back, this is a short list of some that were the ones that beat the pandemic by being ready to grow when the market changed.
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The headline relates to vaccine origins, this is about how close we are to a Covid-19 vaccine.
The word vaccine comes from the Latin word for cow. Edward Jenner created the first vaccine using the less harmful pox virus that infected cows to infect humans and so allow them to become immune to an infection from the more serious and often deadly human version of smallpox.
He did this in a way that would horrify us today. By first infecting a young boy with cowpox he waited for him to develop the infection and then once recovered infected him with smallpox. Thankfully the boy resisted the infection. He did it to 22 more people before publishing the results of his vaccinations. That was in 1798, it would take until 1977 and a significant global effort before the World Health Organisation (WHO) could declare in 1980 that smallpox had been eradicated.
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500 million metric tons are produced a year, but environmental considerations are making alternatives look more attractive.
The question is will we switch?
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Guest: Cliff de Wit | CTO and Co-Founder at Dexterity DigitalLISTEN TO PODCAST
In what was expected to be a $30 billion plus IPO, The listing was postponed following a meeting with the company and Chinese authorities.
This is the brief history of how we got here and what the future may hold for the payment giant.
image credit: Ant Group
Will Donald Trump win again, the two men that correctly predicted it in 2016 weigh in on 2020
Allan Lichtman and Helmut Norpoth have devised two very different models that have been very accurate so far. This year though their models do not predict the same outcome.
One of their models will prove to be the one to predict even the most unpredictable election, a race between two of the oldest candidates in a country ravaged by a pandemic and from parties that are now polar opposites.
Being able to predict something as complex as this will see many wanting to try apply the principles to make better political, business, investment and even personal choices about many other complex subjects.
Here is what their models predict and how they get there.
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If you had to think about what is needed on a modern farm, you would think ploughs, fertilizer, pesticides, irrigation and the best developed seeds.
The advent of industrial farming has seen the items above become central to a successful farm looking to maximise yield.
If you can pay for all the input costs you can get the rewards come harvest time. That is assuming the prices are good and the weather gods were favourable.
Despite decades refining the process of extraction, we have reached the point where farmers are constantly at risk of not earning enough to pay the bills for all the input costs.
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Over 1000 MW of renewable energy will be added to the grid in the next year, we need a way to store it.
One major drawback that is often made about renewables is that they don’t work when the sun does not shine or there is no wind. That is true but a greater drawback is that often when they do work, we have enough power but not enough during the peaks.
An age old issue has been how to store enough energy efficiently so we can use everything we generate.
Right now power stations produce too much energy during the middle of the night only to be short during the morning and afternoon peak. It is unlikely we can get everyone to use electricity in a way that there is no peak, so we need another solution - storage.
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