A recent case involving Laidlaw & Company, a well known investment bank, recently reminded me of something I hadn’t thought of in a long time. Most of us will take a wide variety of medications over our lives. But few of us really stop to think about how much it costs to get them on the shelves in the first place. Laidlaw & Company recently received a temporary restraining order and associated injunction from a medical research firm called Relmada Therapeutics. They insinuated that Laidlaw had been disseminating intentionally false and malicious information. The judge took it seriously enough to take direct action to stop this during the proceedings.
Much of this case revolves around the fact that Relmada Therapeutics had used Laidlaw for their funding during research and development of a new medication. On reflection, it becomes quite apparent that the development of a new medication must involve some very impressive sums of money. Even using an existing medication for a new purpose will involve huge studies to determine effectiveness and safety. But add actual development costs on top of that and one will be faced with some quite intimidating numbers.
I wanted to get a better idea of the players within the case. So I checked out the actual website for Laidlaw. What I saw confirmed my initial suspicions. I never got the impression of outright maliciousness. It seemed to instead be about a company doing the right thing by funding medical research and then disagreeing with the terms involved. Delving deeper I found some information about the company’s senior executives.
The biographies of Matthew Eitner and James Ahern, in particular, struck me as people who really are trying to do the right thing. I consider myself somewhat altruistic when it comes to charity. But both men had done far more than I ever had. And they’d been steering Laidlaw in the direction of medical financing for quite a long time. To me, this says that Laidlaw is a big force in helping to get medications to the people who need them. And in particular, as with this case, in getting those medications created in the first place.