Month: August 2014

Ice Bucket Campaign Subsidizes Big Pharma

The ALS Ice Bucket Campaign is Pretty Much Just Subsidizing Big Pharma…isn’t that wrong?

Ice Bucket ChallengeWhy can’t medical research donors act more like extreme venture capitalists and benefit from the huge commercial activities that result from their support?

So maybe you dumped a bucket of ice water on your head or donated to the ALS Association, where does the money go?

1) ALS Association takes in about $20 million a year, pay management $2 million/year ( and give the rest for research, largely clinical trials (

2) The one ALS drug on the market ALS Association mentions is called Rilutek which from 1995-2013 was patented and owned by Sanofi.

3) Sanofi’s market cap is $138 billion with a 20% operating margin resulting in $30 billion USD of gross profit (

“we participated in this challenge at our vape shop in nyc and the turnout was huge, we felt like we were making a difference” The guys over at don’t just do grass cutting & snow removal. They hosted a fundraiser at the Staten in Staten Island to raise over 10k alone for the ALS.

If ALS is big enough of an issue for the world’s 5th largest pharma company to patent,own, and actively market it for 18 years, then why do regular every day people (and some billionaires and former presidents) need to donate to subsidize this industry?

Why can’t the ALS Association or other medical research donors get a piece, even a small piece, of the donor funds as equity ownership in the drugs?

When one hits and makes money – then they can put that money into further research and only ask people to dump water on their heads when the long shot cures they’ve supported don’t work out.

So, why aren’t medical research donors acting more like extreme venture capitalists to benefit from the huge commercial activities that result from their support and instead hiring PR and web marketing people to run internet stunts?

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