History Main / WithholdingTheCure

3rd Aug '17 11:46:23 PM AnoSa
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*** It's worth noting that this does '''not''' apply with the [=US=] market--one of the tests the [=FDA=] required already at the time was one intended to see if it'd be transmitted through the placenta.[[note]]Failing this test doesn't necessarily mean a drug won't get approved, as Thalidomide is currently an option for chemo patients.[[/note]]
** Assuming you somehow manage to get your potential cure or vaccine through testing, it's often actually very limited in what it actually is capable of doing, such as [[http://abcnews.go.com/Health/story?id=117961 this vaccine for herpes that provides women and only women with some protection]]. The overall expectation is that you can be relatively certain that a certain part of the population will [[TooDumbToLive believe it is a]] MagicAntidote, and with some diseases the legal risk posed by this particular group is bad enough you may not even be able to find enough funding to ''do'' human trials.
3rd Aug '17 10:12:28 PM AnoSa
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** More of an inspiration for the trope is the simple economic fact that drugs that suppress symptoms while leaving the body to fight a disease on its own are both cheaper to make and can be sold more often than outright cures--especially as many such symptoms are actually the body's effort to fight the disease; for example, cold "medicine" suppresses coughing and sneezing, but this is meant to eject contaminants from the body in phlegm and mucus. Suppressing it makes colds last ''longer''--and conveniently, buy more cold "medicine". Same with fevers; an attempt by the body to literally burn out an infection that just happens to put a person through extended discomfort, and lowering fevers with drugs often extends the sickness that caused them. Even allergy medicine can fall into this trap - histamine reactions are due to the body (over)reacting to contaminants like pollen and animal dander as if they were infections, and taking antihistamines while one is actually sick can extend the disease. Many drugs have been discovered that are significantly more effective than those commonly sold, but that very effectiveness means that fewer units of it ''can'' be sold. Add in that the better drugs are usually more expensive to manufacture, and they are almost impossible to find.[[note]]At least in countries without socialized medicine; ''many'' OTC prescriptions that go for hundreds of dollars in the US are cheaper than cough syrup in Canada and the UK.[[/note]]
24th Jul '17 9:11:19 AM Morgenthaler
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* ''Series/TheOuterLimits'':
** Played with in one episode, when an attempt to create a safe and reliable KnockoutGas for crowd control results in drug that seems to boost body's ability to fight off any disease or toxin UpToEleven. The chimp that it's tested on is able to take several shots of cyanide without a problem. The scientist's brother is a CorruptCorporateExecutive, who immediately clamps down on the supposed panacea, claiming that it's likely to cause overcrowding, as people will no longer be dying at the same rate, while still breeding like rabbits. The scientist treats it as an attempt to make money, even though it's a clear case of JerkassHasAPoint (i.e. without PopulationControl, any such cure would be really bad for humanity). The exec brother then uses the drug on himself in order to treat his Parkinson's. However, at the end, it's discovered that the supposed "cure" is actually CastFromLifespan, draining the body of all resources, until the person (or the above-mentioned chimp) just drops dead in a matter of days, completely spent. The exec brother spends the rest of his life in a sterile life support chamber, unable to move, as his body is no longer able to sustain itself.
** Averted in another episode, where a scientist is perfectly willing to release his new [[{{Nanomachines}} nanite]]-based cure that would make cancer (or any other cell-related problem) a thing of the past, only to meet opposition from people claiming that he's playing God. On the other hand, he's only at the testing phase, and the "cure" isn't even close to being ready for distribution yet. A friend of his ends up injecting himself with nanites in order to cure his terminal-stage cancer, which works at first (even fixing his poor eyesight), but the untested nanites then start making "[[BodyHorror modifications]]" to his body, reacting to what they perceive are flaws (e.g. [[ApparentlyHumanMerfolk inability to breathe underwater]], [[EyesDoNotBelongThere limited vision]], and [[ShockAndAwe need for additional defense mechanisms]]). In the end, the scientist is forced to kill the poor sap (at his own request) and burns down his lab in the process, forever destroying the potential cure.

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* ''Series/TheOuterLimits'':
''Series/TheOuterLimits1995'':
** Played with in one episode, episode ("Blood Brothers"), when an attempt to create a safe and reliable KnockoutGas for crowd control results in drug that seems to boost body's ability to fight off any disease or toxin UpToEleven. The chimp that it's tested on is able to take several shots of cyanide without a problem. The scientist's brother is a CorruptCorporateExecutive, who immediately clamps down on the supposed panacea, claiming that it's likely to cause overcrowding, as people will no longer be dying at the same rate, while still breeding like rabbits. The scientist treats it as an attempt to make money, even though it's a clear case of JerkassHasAPoint (i.e. without PopulationControl, any such cure would be really bad for humanity). The exec brother then uses the drug on himself in order to treat his Parkinson's. However, at the end, it's discovered that the supposed "cure" is actually CastFromLifespan, draining the body of all resources, until the person (or the above-mentioned chimp) just drops dead in a matter of days, completely spent. The exec brother spends the rest of his life in a sterile life support chamber, unable to move, as his body is no longer able to sustain itself.
** Averted in another episode, episode ("The New Breed"), where a scientist is perfectly willing to release his new [[{{Nanomachines}} nanite]]-based cure that would make cancer (or any other cell-related problem) a thing of the past, only to meet opposition from people claiming that he's playing God. On the other hand, he's only at the testing phase, and the "cure" isn't even close to being ready for distribution yet. A friend of his ends up injecting himself with nanites in order to cure his terminal-stage cancer, which works at first (even fixing his poor eyesight), but the untested nanites then start making "[[BodyHorror modifications]]" to his body, reacting to what they perceive are flaws (e.g. [[ApparentlyHumanMerfolk inability to breathe underwater]], [[EyesDoNotBelongThere limited vision]], and [[ShockAndAwe need for additional defense mechanisms]]). In the end, the scientist is forced to kill the poor sap (at his own request) and burns down his lab in the process, forever destroying the potential cure.
24th Jul '17 8:50:51 AM Morgenthaler
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* Played with in the ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'' episode "Symbiosis": the Ornarans claim they need felicium to treat a plague that is affecting their world. Their only source of it is through the Brekkians, and this is the only commerce between the worlds. Dr. Crusher determines that the felicium is an addictive narcotic and that the plague has long been cured. While the [[AlienNonInterferenceClause Prime Directive]] forbids [[TheCaptain Picard]] from revealing the truth to the wronged race, he finds a way to correct the situation by [[JerkassFacade refusing to repair their few remaining ships]]. Without the ships, they will have no way to get the drug and will eventually realize they're not actually sick.
* In ''Series/StarTrekVoyager'': "Night": The Malon's [[PlanetOfHats hat]] is looking for a LandfillBeyondTheStars to dump radioactive antimatter waste from inferior warp technology. The current captain's dumping ground is an inhabited is inhabited so the crew look for a better way: Federation warp technology, which recycles its theta radiation. He rejects this as it would put him out of business. Chakotay points out that he's throwing away a great business opportunity, but he counters that he is already making lots of money thanks to his secret dumping ground, and would rather bet on what he has, than risk the financial chaos caused by the introduction of a world-changing technology. They never try this tactic with any other Malon captain, presumably assuming they would reject it for the same reason.
* ''Series/StarTrekEnterprise'': [[Wallbangers/StarTrekEnterprise "Dear Doctor"]]: Archer decides to let an entire species die from a disease that Phlox could cure so that another race on the planet could have an "evolutionary breakthrough."

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* ''Franchise/StarTrek'':
**
Played with in the ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'' episode "Symbiosis": the Ornarans claim they need felicium to treat a plague that is affecting their world. Their only source of it is through the Brekkians, and this is the only commerce between the worlds. Dr. Crusher determines that the felicium is an addictive narcotic and that the plague has long been cured. While the [[AlienNonInterferenceClause Prime Directive]] forbids [[TheCaptain Picard]] from revealing the truth to the wronged race, he finds a way to correct the situation by [[JerkassFacade refusing to repair their few remaining ships]]. Without the ships, they will have no way to get the drug and will eventually realize they're not actually sick.
* ** In ''Series/StarTrekVoyager'': "Night": The Malon's [[PlanetOfHats hat]] is looking for a LandfillBeyondTheStars to dump radioactive antimatter waste from inferior warp technology. The current captain's dumping ground is an inhabited is inhabited so the crew look for a better way: Federation warp technology, which recycles its theta radiation. He rejects this as it would put him out of business. Chakotay points out that he's throwing away a great business opportunity, but he counters that he is already making lots of money thanks to his secret dumping ground, and would rather bet on what he has, than risk the financial chaos caused by the introduction of a world-changing technology. They never try this tactic with any other Malon captain, presumably assuming they would reject it for the same reason.
* ** ''Series/StarTrekEnterprise'': [[Wallbangers/StarTrekEnterprise "Dear Doctor"]]: Archer decides to let an entire species die from a disease that Phlox could cure so that another race on the planet could have an "evolutionary breakthrough."
10th Jul '17 8:14:13 PM Kalaong
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* In ''Film/MissionImpossibleII'', a good scientist spliced countless influenza viruses together into a super-influenza as part of the process of creating a universal cure for influenza. That worked out perfectly, and would have been worth billions. Unfortunately, he didn't realize he was working for an Evil Drug Company. They realized that his superflu would be worth ''hundreds of billions'' to the right buyer and that a superflu outbreak would make a universal cure worth '''trillions'''. Cue gunfights.

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* In ''Film/MissionImpossibleII'', a good scientist spliced countless influenza viruses together into a super-influenza as part of the process of creating a universal cure for influenza. That worked out perfectly, and would have been worth billions. Unfortunately, he didn't realize until it was too late that he was working for an Evil Drug Company. They Company - that realized that his superflu would be worth ''hundreds of billions'' to the right buyer buyer... and when he discovered this and went to the IMF for help, the agent they sent realized that a superflu outbreak would make a universal cure worth '''trillions'''. Cue gunfights.
8th Jul '17 8:07:57 PM Linda58
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* In ''Series/StarTrekVoyager'': "Night": The Malon's [[PlanetOfHats hat]] is looking for a LandfillBeyondTheStars to dump radioactive antimatter waste from inferior warp technology. The current captain's dumping ground is an inhabited is inhabited so the crew look for a better way: Federation warp technology, which recycles its theta radiation. He rejects this as it would put him out of business. Chakotay points out that he's throwing away a great business opportunity, but he counters that he is already making lots of money thanks to his secret dumping ground, and would rather bet on what he has, than risk the financial chaos caused by the introduction of a world-changing technology. They never try this tactic with any other Malon captain, presumably assuming they would reject it for the same reason.
28th Jun '17 9:30:30 AM zarpaulus
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* This trope is OlderThanSteam: The herbalist [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nicholas_Culpeper Nicholas Culpeper]] attracted the ire of the College of Physicians as early as the 16350 by selling his book ''The Complete Herbal'' to the general public at a price the working man or woman could afford and translating some of their approved texts from Latin to English [[InformationWantsToBeFree so they could be read and understood by anyone]].

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* This trope is OlderThanSteam: The herbalist [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nicholas_Culpeper Nicholas Culpeper]] attracted the ire of the College of Physicians as early as the 16350 1650's by selling his book ''The Complete Herbal'' to the general public at a price the working man or woman could afford and translating some of their approved texts from Latin to English [[InformationWantsToBeFree so they could be read and understood by anyone]].
28th Jun '17 8:25:17 AM Jake
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* This trope is OlderThanSteam: The herbalist [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nicholas_Culpeper Nicholas Culpeper]] attracted the ire of the College of Physicians as early as the 16350 by selling his book ''The Complete Herbal'' to the general public at a price the working man or woman could afford and translating some of their approved texts from Latin to English [[InformationWantsToBeFree so they could be read and understood by anyone]].
21st Jun '17 8:34:59 AM Kalaong
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** Doctor Doom apparently has a good method of treating burn victims, which he's withholding because he's ... well ... '''Doom'''. In ''X-Men vs The Fantastic Four'', he uses it on ComicBook/{{Storm}} after she was grievously injured in a fight with the Human Torch in order to endear himself to the X-Men, but it's never been seen since. X-Men ally Dr. Moira [=MacTaggart=] even wonders why he just sits on this medical breakthrough when it can be used to help millions.

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** Doctor Doom ComicBook/DoctorDoom apparently has a good method of treating burn victims, which he's withholding because he's ... well ... '''Doom'''. In ''X-Men vs The Fantastic Four'', he uses it on ComicBook/{{Storm}} after she was grievously injured in a fight with the Human Torch in order to endear himself to the X-Men, but it's never been seen since. X-Men ally Dr. Moira [=MacTaggart=] even wonders why he just sits on this medical breakthrough when it can be used to help millions.
21st Jun '17 8:31:24 AM Kalaong
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** Wakanda (the home nation of the ComicBook/BlackPanther) has had the cures for [[{{Panacea}} pretty much everything]](along with free energy, spaceflight, etc.) for centuries but refuses to release them, at least when written by ReginaldHudlin. InUniverse, they justify this by [[http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xsk4mg_black-panther-motion-comic-episode-3_shortfilms claiming]] that all those things are ''not'' difficult to discover, the rest of the world is just too obsessed with [[TallPoppySyndrome power]] [[{{Realpolitik}} politics]] to actually do it;

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** Wakanda (the home nation of the ComicBook/BlackPanther) has had the cures for [[{{Panacea}} pretty much everything]](along with free energy, spaceflight, etc.) for centuries but refuses to release them, at least when written by ReginaldHudlin. InUniverse, they justify this by [[http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xsk4mg_black-panther-motion-comic-episode-3_shortfilms claiming]] that all those things are ''not'' difficult to discover, they're not "ahead" of the world so much that everyone ''else'' has fallen ''behind''; basically, they're saying the rest of the world is just too obsessed with doing this trope to ''themselves'' by not taking the long view, instead focusing their efforts on [[{{Realpolitik}} political advantage]] and [[TallPoppySyndrome power]] [[{{Realpolitik}} politics]] to actually do it;economic dominance]].
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