What’s keeping the world from ending AIDS

If you cure illnesses, said Goldman Sachs vice-president Salveen Richter, it will disrupt “sustained cash flow.” Far better to find medical treatments that provide some solace but that prolong illnesses. Even better if these treatments are both necessary and expensive.

If you find a cure for an illness, then you will find – as Richter wrote in her analysis for Goldman Sachs – “a gradual exhaustion of the prevalent pool of patients.” That’s the worst thing imaginable for pharmaceutical companies and their investors. Keep the goose alive as long as it keeps laying golden eggs.

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