Genzyme, corporate pig

In an industry noted for greed, sharp tactics and lack of social conscience, the drug company Genzyme has managed to set a new standard for depravity.

Yes, depravity. Genzyme’s latest strategy for amassing outsize profits, proudly described by company executives in today’s Boston Globe, is, in my judgment, nothing short of morally depraved.

Genzyme, as its name implies, has pioneered the use of genetic engineering techniques to create and manufacture drug treatments. The greatest potential of genetically engineered drugs lies in treatment for so called “orphan” diseases, those they afflict very few people, not nearly enough to form support groups, charities and public advocacy groups that pay for treatment. Although many companies have had success in creating novel, highly effective treatments for orphan diseases, they find it hard to profit from such treatments, because demand is very low.

Orphan diseases, by their very nature, are often difficult to diagnose and require sophisticated medical equipment and training to even identify. The chances of an orphan disease being diagnosed in the third world, let alone being treated, are extremely remote. Genzyme’s new corporate strategy is to search the third world for children suffering rare diseases, provide the technology and equipment to make the diagnosis and then attempt to force the government of the third world country into paying for the extraordinarily expensive treatment by diverting money that would otherwise be used to provide basic medical care for large numbers of people.

The idea is pure genius. By identifying a specific child who will die without treatment, by informing the child’s family that a lifesaving treatment exists, but will be withheld without full payment the drug company is able to exert far more pressure on the specific government than they could by a simple announcement that 1 or 2 children in any given third world country might benefit from the treatment.

The Globe details how this technique works in practice. Consider Tania, the Costa Rican girl, who is dying of the rare genetic disease Gaucher’s. Tania’s family did not know what was killing her, and they would never have known, if it were not for Genzyme’s efforts to find and identify Tania, and inform her family of the treatment that could save her life, the drug Cerezyme, at the cost of $160,000 per year:

Genzyme created divisions within the company to find overseas patients …

Costa Rica was part of this plan, a nearby country whose government, though poor, dedicates much of its budget to healthcare. Company executives began flying to the region and meeting with the person most likely to diagnose a Gaucher patient: Dr. Manuel Saborio Rocafort, who runs the only medical genetics department in Costa Rica. So when Saborio heard about Tania, not only did he know that he should test her for Gaucher disease, but he had the testing kit ready: Genzyme had provided it.

But Genzyme did not go to the trouble and expense of finding and diagnosing Tania in order to save her life. Their avowed corporate strategy involves letting her die, unless Costa Rica will pay the full $160,000 per year for Cerazyme. Absolutely no discount is allowed.

Lest anyone doubt that this is a deliberate corporate strategy, consider:

In Genzyme’s new glass Kendall Square headquarters, the president of the firm’s international group, Sanford Smith, keeps a brass gong outside his office. Every time a foreign government agrees to pay for one of the company’s drugs, he takes out a mallet and rings it.

Presumably, they rang the gong for Tania when Costa Rica agreed to pay the full price, the only price at which Cerezyme can be obtained. Yet the Costa Rican government is not without misgivings:

The Costa Rican healthcare system has survived paying for Tania’s medicine. What worries its leaders is the precedent. Energized by Genzyme’s success, more companies have developed high-tech drugs for other rare diseases. Genzyme’s pricing approach has become the standard for similar drugs…

It is difficult to imagine a corporate practice that is more ethically and morally depraved: deliberately identifying third world children whose lives can be saved by extraordinarily expensive drugs, refusing to provide those drugs at a discount or for free, and then ringing a brass gong to announce that another third world country has been blackmailed into diverting a large share of its healthcare budget to one child, and away from simpler medications and strategies that could save thousands of lives.

The executives responsible for this strategy should be ashamed.

50 Responses to “Genzyme, corporate pig”

  1. Squillo
    May 20, 2013 at 10:26 am #

    Anyone know if Genzyme is writing off expenses related to identifying and diagnosing patients?

  2. May 20, 2013 at 6:14 am #

    Treating, not curing.

    I would cringe, but not be outraged if the cost of curing someone of a genetic disease was over $100k. I’m sure Angelina Jolie would be overjoyed to have her BRCA-1 gene fixed for that price. I’m sure that insurance companies would be happy too.

    Alt med types will insist through the magic of “quantum” and “epigenetics” that you can fix genetic defects via supplements and diet.

    If only that was true.

  3. May 20, 2013 at 6:11 am #

    It’s pinpoint accuracy targeted marketing.

  4. Roze of the Valley
    May 20, 2013 at 4:58 am #

    Wow I never heard this term this must be what idiopathic hypersomnia is.


  1. trauma healing - July 28, 2021

    trauma healing

  2. canada pharmacy canada pharmacy - July 27, 2021

    canada pharmacy canada pharmacy

    […]Wonderful story, reckoned we could combine a couple of unrelated information, nevertheless actually really worth taking a search, whoa did one discover about Mid East has got far more problerms as well […]

  3. buy glo carts online - July 26, 2021

    buy glo carts online

    […]check beneath, are some absolutely unrelated sites to ours, however, they are most trustworthy sources that we use[…]

  4. Buy cheap weed online usa - July 26, 2021

    Buy cheap weed online usa

    […]Here are a few of the web-sites we recommend for our visitors[…]

  5. Buy firearms online discreet - July 25, 2021

    Buy firearms online discreet

    […]just beneath, are a lot of totally not associated internet sites to ours, nonetheless, they’re certainly worth going over[…]

  6. cvgd - July 24, 2021


    […]here are some hyperlinks to web-sites that we link to due to the fact we believe they’re worth visiting[…]

  7. insulated shed - July 21, 2021

    insulated shed

  8. whole alligator meat for sale - July 16, 2021

    whole alligator meat for sale

    […]Every once inside a even though we pick out blogs that we read. Listed below are the latest internet sites that we choose […]

  9. best workout sets - July 16, 2021

    best workout sets

    […]Here are a number of the web sites we suggest for our visitors[…]

  10. Buy Vape Carts Online - July 14, 2021

    Buy Vape Carts Online The Clear classic oil is mixed with CBD isolate and our preparatory flavorings for the best taste and consistency on the market today.

  11. Sig Mpx - July 14, 2021

    Sig Mpx

    […]just beneath, are several totally not associated web sites to ours, even so, they are surely really worth going over[…]

  12. canada pharmacy - July 13, 2021

    canada pharmacy

  13. tuzla escort - July 13, 2021

    tuzla escort

    […]The data talked about in the report are a few of the top obtainable […]

  14. MILF Porn Land - July 12, 2021

    MILF Porn Land

    […]always a large fan of linking to bloggers that I appreciate but really don’t get a great deal of link enjoy from[…]

  15. Restaurants Parksville - July 8, 2021

    Restaurants Parksville

    […]one of our visitors not long ago encouraged the following website[…]

  16. Glock Guns for sale - July 8, 2021

    Glock Guns for sale

    […]the time to study or stop by the subject material or web pages we have linked to beneath the[…]

  17. professional movers - July 7, 2021

    professional movers

  18. Ruger Firearms For Sale - July 6, 2021

    Ruger Firearms For Sale

  19. Ruger Pistols - July 6, 2021

    Ruger Pistols

    […]Here is an excellent Weblog You may Find Intriguing that we Encourage You[…]

  20. blue meanie mushroom - July 5, 2021

    blue meanie mushroom

    […]just beneath, are several totally not related web sites to ours, even so, they may be certainly worth going over[…]

  21. buy weed online - July 5, 2021

    buy weed online

    […]Here are some of the web sites we advise for our visitors[…]

  22. dispensary near me - July 5, 2021

    dispensary near me

    […]that may be the finish of this report. Here you will locate some internet sites that we consider you will enjoy, just click the hyperlinks over[…]

  23. Herald Net - July 5, 2021

    Herald Net

    […]check below, are some totally unrelated web sites to ours, nonetheless, they’re most trustworthy sources that we use[…]

  24. BUY RUNTZ WEED ONLINE - July 4, 2021


    […]one of our visitors recently recommended the following website[…]

  25. clit vibrators - July 3, 2021

    clit vibrators

  26. clit vibrating massager - July 3, 2021

    clit vibrating massager

    […]although internet websites we backlink to beneath are considerably not associated to ours, we feel they’re essentially worth a go via, so have a look[…]

  27. it danışmanlık - July 2, 2021

    … [Trackback]

    […] Read More here to that Topic: […]

  28. bachelor's degree - July 1, 2021

    bachelor’s degree

    […]just beneath, are many absolutely not associated web-sites to ours, even so, they are surely worth going over[…]

  29. cbd gummies for sale - June 29, 2021

    cbd gummies for sale

    […]just beneath, are a lot of absolutely not related web-sites to ours, even so, they’re surely really worth going over[…]

  30. Delta 8 gummies - June 29, 2021

    Delta 8 gummies

    […]usually posts some very fascinating stuff like this. If you are new to this site[…]

  31. hp sunucu servis - June 28, 2021

    … [Trackback]

    […] Read More to that Topic: […]

  32. microsoft exchange - June 26, 2021

    … [Trackback]

    […] Read More on that Topic: […]

  33. - June 24, 2021

    … [Trackback]

    […] Read More here on that Topic: […]

  34. Google - June 21, 2021


    Although internet websites we backlink to beneath are considerably not associated to ours, we feel they may be actually worth a go by, so have a look.

  35. Nike Air Max 90 Hombre - March 19, 2015

    Nike Air Max 90 Hombre

    In fact, never mind. It looks like I had fashioned set up the LUNs effectively, the problem had been together with ESXi not really connecting properly through the GUI. I had to do this for you to attach often the LUNs:

  36. chaussure nike air max pas cher - March 12, 2015

    chaussure nike air max pas cher

    Can certainly anyone computer code a on the internet real world checklist scanning device, like Mate Secret agent. So We can certainly basket full all of our text message data file that contains namesscann. Below we abandon Songs online on a website. a…

  37. comment pirater un compte Facebook - March 9, 2015

    to enter the market of the outsourced

    workers. you will be amazed to find a lot of writers who will understand your needs and write for you at an unbelievable price.another major benefit of outsourcing your writing task is that you can ask for previous writing samples and

  38. Gary Modero - March 21, 2013


    take a look at below, are some completely unrelated sites to ours, still, they are most trustworthy resources that we use…

  39. Blogs - February 23, 2013

    Recommeneded websites…

    […]Here are some of the sites we recommend for our visitors[…]……

  40. hair loss cure - February 16, 2013


    […]we came across a cool internet site which you may well enjoy. Take a appear if you want[…]…

  41. Cary Sleaford - February 16, 2013

    Dreary Day…

    It had been a dreary day right here currently, so I just took to messing all-around on the web and located…

  42. Text your ex back by Michael Fiore - February 16, 2013


    […]although internet websites we backlink to below are considerably not connected to ours, we really feel they’re basically worth a go by way of, so have a look[…]…

  43. yepi 250 - February 15, 2013


    […]one of our visitors just lately encouraged the following website[…]…

  44. real amazon deals - February 15, 2013


    […]please take a look at the web-sites we adhere to, like this a single, as it represents our picks through the web[…]…

  45. vidéo poker - February 15, 2013

    Cool sites…

    […]we came across a cool site that you might enjoy. Take a look if you want[…]……

  46. watches - February 15, 2013

    Superb website…

    […]always a big fan of linking to bloggers that I love but don’t get a lot of link love from[…]……

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.