The articles on this website can be re-written at any time to improve their readability. However, when I make a significant error, I will identify it on this page. The article will be listed with a link, and the old writing will be placed beside the first edit of the new writing. The article from which it came will be fixed, with a link to its errata on this page.
Here is the list so far:
Machination of the Next Great Plague
Errata for Machinations of the Next Great Plague
Regarding 'biologics', original writing:
The pharmaceutical companies try to find ways to have both patents and to keep their exclusive ability to source the drug to the market. Instead of making simple chemical products, they become interested in making "biologic" products. A "biologic" is the name of a drug that has a secret biological step in its construction. These drugs are too complicated to be copied by generic pharmaceutical companies, in this way it is possible to maintain a trade secret, and with it, profitability.
It turns out that this statement is both misleading and obsolete. I first learned about the scarcity power of 'biologics' from someone who was working on the financial side of a pharma company that produces them.
After writing the article, someone from the technical side of the industry reached out to me. It turns out biologics refer to the construction of proteins as opposed to small molecules. You can make generic versions of them and many companies are now in a race to do so.
The use of a 'biologic' is more about how effective your medication will be. Researchers choose what approach will be better for the target, a small molecule or a biologic. "Antibodies (biologics) allow for an exquisite specificity that can be difficult to achieve with a small molecule and are generally cheaper to manufacture and faster to develop. However, they do not bind targets within the cell and are not good at crossing the blood-brain barrier."
First edit, with corrections:
The pharmaceutical companies try to find ways to have both patents and to keep their exclusive ability to source the drug to the market. Up until recently, this could be done by developing 'biologics'. A biologic is a drug which is based on a complicated protein structure instead of a small simple molecule. They are cheaper to produce and had the added benefit of being hard to copy by the generic industry. This is not the case anymore, since the introduction of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), and the following amendment to the "Public Health Service Act (PHS Act), there is a way for generic pharmaceutical companies to produce 'biosimilars'.1 Biosimilars are basically generics for biologics.
Going to all of the parties
In the article Going to all of the parties I made a grave mistake regarding gender. Erinn Broshko is a man, when I learnt of this I quietly changed the article to use the correct gender pronouns.