I wonder what's kept under wraps?

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A few years ago I attended a marketing lecture given by a very respected designer. One element of his presentation was his assertion that there are many, many items which have been invented and even perfected BUT which will not see the market - either because (1) the average person couldn't handle them, or (2) their sale would ruin other established markets.
(1) knife blades so sharp that you only have to rest the knife on a tomato and it would slice through with no pressure (goodbye fingers) (2) an ointment that safely kills hair follicles and eliminates the need for ever shaving again (goodbye electric razor, blade and cream sales)
I don't think he was spouting urban myths and I have no doubt that crass corporate self-interests would support his cynicism. I just wonder what's out there waiting to be sprung when someone thinks the time is right?
(Very reminiscent of the old tale from the 50s about the man who demonstrated he could turn water into gasoline and then got on a train and was never seen again. Probably eliminated by the petroninjas!)
FoggyTown
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Lots of little drug research companies can cook up new cancer drugs in their laboratories. Only the big drug manufacturers have the resources to fund the clinical trials necessary to get FDA approval for a new drug. Sometimes, a new drug will show lots of promise. But the manufacturer will shelve the drug because it would make their LAST cancer drug obsolete, and they haven't made enough money from it yet to recover the cost of getting it to market - unless a competitor is about to launch a product better than their old one. Meanwhile, people are dying that could be saved by the new drug. On the one hand, it looks immoral to put profits ahead of the needs of dying people. On the other hand, if they couldn't make money, they would go out of business and no one would be able to fund the studies. Issues that appear to be black and white seldom are.
DonkeyHody "We can't all be heros because somebody has to sit on the curb and clap as they go by." - Will Rogers
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DonkeyHody wrote:

In a similar vein, sometimes when researchers are looking for something like a new cancer drug, they accidentally stumble across something that shows promise for treating anther, much rarer condition. If the market for this potential discovery isn't big enough to warrant the R&D investment, it does not get pursued.
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Charlie M. 1958 wrote:

Talk about sending in the black helicopters... :(
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dpb wrote:

Despite how that may have sounded to you, I'm really not a conspiracy theorist in the least. The problem is so well documented that the the federal government passed legislation giving incentives to drug companies to encourage them not to let such discoveries go undeveloped.
Would you believe the FDA;s own website?
http://www.fda.gov/fdac/special/newdrug/orphan.html
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Charlie M. 1958 wrote:

Took somewhat out of context, I'll grant...it's a pov thing I guess. Sure there are things that don't warrant the investment from a purely economic standpoint. Unless there's some way to support the research that's a problem no commercial venture can afford (at least indefinitely). I mistook the intent given the previous, sorry...
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dpb wrote:

didn't realize that quite a bit *has* apparently been done to minimize the problem.
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<<<<<<<<<< Snippage >>>>>>>>>>>>

Or the market is created.
Wayne
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NoOne N Particular wrote:

heh...heh... Yeah, just imagine the good fortune of Pfizer looking for new blood pressure medications, and realizing that one had a very fortuitous side effect.. a side effect that lots of guys would be willing to pay dearly for!
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"Charlie M. 1958" wrote

Haven't seen it, but I don't think so ... ;)
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Swingman wrote:

I don't know how you've missed it. Here is the link:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3PH9qAGPULk

Do yourself a favor and watch it. It's one of the hokiest commercials of all time.
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"Charlie M. 1958" < wrote

I liked the banned viagra commercial.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PfwpGCXVBF4&feature=related

Some wishful thinking on somebody's part.
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"Charlie M. 1958" wrote

Jeeezusss! ... a new cultural low.
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"Swingman" wrote

Ever get the feeling that just about everything in today's culture, from facebook, to viagra, to presidential elections, to chiwanese crap tools is nothing but SPAM!
... and the pervasiveness is manifested in the fact that, if you run Vista, "viagra" is included in your spell checker ... try typing it in with a little "v" and see what happens!
... think about it!
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Swingman wrote:

Yeah, the Samsing Turbo 3000 phone commercial was a whole lot better.
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If you're going to be dumb, you better be tough

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"Mark & Juanita" wrote

Yeah ... like the profound lyrics to backing track of the Vonage commercial, eh?
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I take exception to 'eh?' being used in the discussion of Vonage commercials. 'eh?'....is kinda personal. Let's try to keep that amongst us friends, okay? Eh?
r
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Swingman wrote:

Just in case you didn't see it: <
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TYIOIM6hHBk

OTOH, I agree with you -- it used to be somewhat embarrassing to be an adolescent/teenager when they started advertising feminine products on the family TV. It is much more profoundly difficult when your 11 year-old asks what the ED commercials are advertising.
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I invented a Universal Solvent but was unable to package it for sale because it would dissolve glass, plastic & even stainless steel!
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Frank Arthur wrote:

:)
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