Sunday, November 4, 2012

A Little Drug Story

For an American watching business unfold.....there was this interesting piece from yesterday.  The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper had an article over the Greek financial crisis, which connected back to Germany.

The German drug company....Merck....reached a point where trust in getting paid for deliveries....wasn't there.  So Merck told Greece.....there's an end to normal business.  If we were talking about suntan lotion or one would care.  This has reached the point where cancer treatment drugs....are now on a list of 'cash-only' situations.

If you are a Greek with cancer and were heavily dependent on the government health system to save you....this little additive has gotten into the system.  You only get four-star drugs....if you pull cash out of your savings and pay the local pharmacy to special-order the stuff.  Your beloved national health worthless.

I'm guessing that Merck is prepared to Fedex the treatment drugs within minutes after a cash transaction has occurred, and the Greek pharmacy will likely have the drug within thirty-six hours.

The problem is that it's another occasion where trust in some government function is non-existent, and you have to make up for that with cash....out of your pocket or your savings.

I believe that the Greek newspapers will run with this....talking trash over the evil Merck folks, and the evil Germans.  The problem is that Merck only exists....if they are profitable.  If folks start a game to delay payment or stretch payment from weeks into months....then Merck isn't likely to survive long-term.

Germans will sit and look at the implications ...some poor Greek guy in terrible shape....dying of cancer, unless he gets fancy German drugs.  I imagine there's going to be hostile feelings directed internally at Merck by naive Germans.

Bottom line....if you live in a country with a one-star economy built by the political folks you elected into will eventually end up with a one-star living environment.  Germans figured that out decades ago.

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