Thursday, December 14, 2006

Not a paid review

A heart-warming message arrived this morning on a bulletin board that I read:
Today, Bristol-Myers Squibb, the pharmaceutical monolith that charges nearly $1,000 for a 30 day supply of one of its HIV/AIDS medications, is donating $1 to the National AIDS Fund for each person who simply visits their website and "virtually lights a candle."

My, you think, how noble and generous they are  — as you are intended to think. Well, think again my dears. As of midday CET the message is very different. The website now reads:
Thank you for lighting a candle to support the fight against HIV/AIDS... As a result, we are proud to honour our commitment to donate $100,000 to the National AIDS Fund to continue their vital work with those most impacted by this disease.

Pah. They are donating the annual turnover from eight patients. Well whoop-de-fucking-do.

As of 14:25 CET the count stands at 1,448,381 candles. They are donating 6.9 cents per candle-lighter, not a dollar.

BM-S paid its shareholders 2.18 billion dollars in dividends in 2005. (It's on page 120 of their annual report.) That is 1509 dollars per candle-lighter.

BM-S turned a nett profit of 3 billion dollars last year (page 116). The donation is equal to the profit they earn every 17.5 minutes.

BM-S spent 509 million dollars on advertising in 2005 (page 83). The donation is equal to the amount they spend on advertising every two hours.

I am glad that they are donating money to the National AIDS Fund, and even more so that they are supporting clinics and healthcare centres in Africa and Asia (pages 6-7). I am disappointed that the amount is so trivially small, and offended that they clearly expect me to be awed by their sensitivity and wholesomeness. Pah.

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Blogger brooksba said...

In the grand scheme, it isn't much, is it? But at least it is something. I don't really know how to feel about this one.

December 14, 2006 at 2:08:00 p.m. GMT+1  
Blogger CarpeDM said...

I am not sure how I feel about this as well. At least they are donating but yes, you would think it would be more. Maybe they could work on lowering the costs of the medicine. That would be nice.

December 21, 2006 at 6:36:00 p.m. GMT+1  

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