History Main / WithholdingTheCure

7th Apr '17 8:29:48 AM ChronoLegion
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* Played with in an episode of ''Series/TheOuterLimits'', 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.

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* ''Series/TheOuterLimits'':
**
Played with in an episode of ''Series/TheOuterLimits'', 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.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.
7th Apr '17 8:22:53 AM ChronoLegion
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Added DiffLines:

* Played with in an episode of ''Series/TheOuterLimits'', 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.
21st Mar '17 3:00:07 AM Kalaong
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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; 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". 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]]

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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]]
2nd Mar '17 9:53:38 PM AthenaBlue
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* In ''{{Film/Ultraviolet}}'', [[YouCanPanicNow demonizing]] [[OurVampiresAreDifferent hemophages]] as monsters instead of treating them as victims of disease enabled the Evil Drug Company has become the "Militant Medical Establishment" known as the [=ArchMinistry=]. Unfortunately, they did too good a job of hunting them and, by the time of the movie, needed a new threat to "protect" the world from--a "human antigen", cultivated inside of a LivingMacGuffin. Once it's released, people will have to line up at [=ArchMinistry=] to get the cure or die. Cue GunKata.

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* In ''{{Film/Ultraviolet}}'', [[YouCanPanicNow demonizing]] [[OurVampiresAreDifferent hemophages]] as monsters instead of treating them as victims of disease enabled the Evil Drug Company has become the "Militant Medical Establishment" known as the [=ArchMinistry=]. Unfortunately, they did too good a job of hunting them and, by the time of the movie, needed a new threat to "protect" the world from--a from -- a "human antigen", cultivated inside of a LivingMacGuffin. Once it's released, people will have to line up at [=ArchMinistry=] to get the cure or die. Cue GunKata.



* In the ''Series/DoctorWho'' episode "Dalek", the villain brags about having discovered a cure for the common cold--which he isn't going to give to anyone, as it gets him more money if he just sells the existing medication.
* There was an episode of ''BarneyMiller'' where the perp was a research scientist who had destroyed the property of his former employers because they refused to let him research the cure for [some disease] on the grounds that it wasn't fatal and there were too few sufferers for a cure to be profitable. Barney managed to talk his former boss into dropping charges and rehiring the guy, partly with the argument that by the time the cure was developed there may be an epidemic, "with any luck."
* 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.
* ''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."
* ''{{Series/Merlin 2008}}'' Uther does this when Merlin is poisoned, intent on teaching Arthur a lesson.

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* In the ''Series/DoctorWho'' episode "Dalek", the villain brags about having discovered a cure for the common cold--which he isn't going to give to anyone, as it gets him more money if he just sells the existing medication.
* There was an episode of ''BarneyMiller'' where the perp was a research scientist who had destroyed the property of his former employers because they refused to let him research the cure for [some disease] on the grounds that it wasn't fatal and there were too few sufferers for a cure to be profitable. Barney managed to talk his former boss into dropping charges and rehiring the guy, partly with the argument that by the time the cure was developed there may be an epidemic, "with any luck."
luck".
* Played with in In the ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'' ''{{Series/Bonanza}}'' 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 "My brother's keeper", Hoss rides into town to get the drug and will eventually realize they're not actually sick.
* ''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
life-saving medicine for his brother Joe. On his way home, Hoss is ambushed by some thugs who hold the planet could have an "evolutionary breakthrough."
* ''{{Series/Merlin 2008}}'' Uther does this when Merlin is poisoned, intent on teaching Arthur a lesson.
medicine for ransom.



* The Syfy film ''Do Or Die" has the BigBad running a corporation that is hailed as heroic for finding a cure for an aging disease, but they still love to ration it or jack up the price all,the time.
* In the ''{{Series/Bonanza}}'' episode "My brother's keeper", Hoss rides into town to get the life-saving medicine for his brother Joe. On his way home, Hoss is ambushed by some thugs who hold the medicine for ransom.
* This trope is played ridiculously straight in the final season of ''Series/TrueBlood''. In the previous season, a deadly virus that only affects vampires ("Hepatitis V") is released and threatens the entire vampire community including the regular cast. In the final season, the company that produces [=TruBlood=] (the artificial blood beverage that allows vampires to subsist without preying on humans) develops a cure for Hep V, but their corrupt CEO realizes he can make more money by selling a temporary vaccine through [=TruBlood=]. When Eric kills him and takes over the company, it's unknown if he keeps up the charade or releases the real cure. Given his...complicated morality, it can go either way.

to:

* ''Series/DoctorWho'': In [[Recap/DoctorWhoS27E6Dalek "Dalek"]], the villain brags about having discovered a cure for the common cold -- which he isn't going to give to anyone, as it gets him more money if he just sells the existing medication.
* The Syfy film ''Do Or Die" or Die'' has the BigBad running a corporation that is hailed as heroic for finding a cure for an aging disease, but they still love to ration it or jack up the price all,the time.
* In
all the ''{{Series/Bonanza}}'' episode "My brother's keeper", Hoss rides into town to get the life-saving medicine for his brother Joe. On his way home, Hoss is ambushed by some thugs who hold the medicine for ransom.
* This trope is played ridiculously straight in the final season of ''Series/TrueBlood''. In the previous season, a deadly virus that only affects vampires ("Hepatitis V") is released and threatens the entire vampire community including the regular cast. In the final season, the company that produces [=TruBlood=] (the artificial blood beverage that allows vampires to subsist without preying on humans) develops a cure for Hep V, but their corrupt CEO realizes he can make more money by selling a temporary vaccine through [=TruBlood=]. When Eric kills him and takes over the company, it's unknown if he keeps up the charade or releases the real cure. Given his...complicated morality, it can go either way.
time.



* ''{{Series/Merlin 2008}}'' Uther does this when Merlin is poisoned, intent on teaching Arthur a lesson.
* 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.
* ''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."
* This trope is played ridiculously straight in the final season of ''Series/TrueBlood''. In the previous season, a deadly virus that only affects vampires ("Hepatitis V") is released and threatens the entire vampire community including the regular cast. In the final season, the company that produces [=TruBlood=] (the artificial blood beverage that allows vampires to subsist without preying on humans) develops a cure for Hep V, but their corrupt CEO realizes he can make more money by selling a temporary vaccine through [=TruBlood=]. When Eric kills him and takes over the company, it's unknown if he keeps up the charade or releases the real cure. Given his...complicated morality, it can go either way.



* A 2010 story arc in ''Webcomic/{{Oglaf}}'' played with this.



%%* A 2010 story arc in ''Webcomic/{{Oglaf}}'' played with this.



* Carter Pewterschmidt of ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy'' discovered a {{cure for cancer}} in the 1990s but is keeping it to himself purely because treating a cancer patient for the rest of their lives will earn far more profit than curing them with a single treatment. When Brian and Stewie expose this secret, Lois makes Carter give his word to release the cure. [[KickTheDog He immediately goes back on his word and flat-out admits he lied to Lois's face when she calls him out on it.]]



* Carter Pewterschmidt of ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy'' discovered a {{cure for cancer}} in the 1990s but is keeping it to himself purely because treating a cancer patient for the rest of their lives will earn far more profit than curing them with a single treatment. When Brian and Stewie expose this secret, Lois makes Carter give his word to release the cure. [[KickTheDog He immediately goes back on his word and flat-out admits he lied to Lois's face when she calls him out on it.]]


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22nd Jan '17 12:43:37 PM thatother1dude
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* Carter Pewterschmidt of ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy'' discovered a cure for cancer in the 1990s but is keeping it to himself purely because treating a cancer patient for the rest of their lives will earn far more profit than curing them with a single treatment.
** When Brian and Stewie expose this secret, Lois makes Carter give his word to release the cure. [[KickTheDog He immediately goes back on his word and flat-out admits he lied to Lois's face when she calls him out on it.]]

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* Carter Pewterschmidt of ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy'' discovered a cure {{cure for cancer cancer}} in the 1990s but is keeping it to himself purely because treating a cancer patient for the rest of their lives will earn far more profit than curing them with a single treatment.
**
treatment. When Brian and Stewie expose this secret, Lois makes Carter give his word to release the cure. [[KickTheDog He immediately goes back on his word and flat-out admits he lied to Lois's face when she calls him out on it.]]
19th Jan '17 6:15:46 PM MCanter89
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[[folder: Anime & Manga ]]

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[[folder: Film ]]
* In ''Film/JohnnyMnemonic'', the world is in the grips of a pandemic, and an evil drug company that went through all the time and trouble to research, develop, and test a working cure for the pandemic doesn't want anybody to have it, and is chasing after the title character in order to suppress information on the cure that's locked in his NeuroVault. As long as the cure is suppressed, the evil drug company keeps making billions off "Paralon-B" - the watered-down cure - as "treating the disease is more profitable than curing it."

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[[folder: Film ]]

[[folder:Film]]
* In ''Film/JohnnyMnemonic'', the world is in the grips of a pandemic, and an evil drug company that went through all the time and trouble to research, develop, and test a working cure for the pandemic doesn't want anybody to have it, and is chasing after the title character in order to suppress information on the cure that's locked in his NeuroVault. As long as the cure is suppressed, the evil drug company keeps making billions off "Paralon-B" - the "Paralon-B"--the watered-down cure - as cure--as "treating the disease is more profitable than curing it."



* 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 he was working for an Evil Drug Company. They realized that his superflu would be worth ''hundreds of billions'' to the right buyer, buyer and that a superflu outbreak would make a universal cure worth '''trillions'''. Cue gunfights.



* In ''{{Film/Ultraviolet}}'', [[YouCanPanicNow demonizing]] [[OurVampiresAreDifferent hemophages]] as monsters instead of treating them as victims of disease enabled the Evil Drug Company has become the "Militant Medical Establishment" known as the [=ArchMinistry=]. Unfortunately, they did too good a job of hunting them, and by the time of the movie needed a new threat to "protect" the world from - a "human antigen" cultivated inside of a LivingMacGuffin. Once it's released, people will have to line up at [=ArchMinistry=] to get the cure or die. Cue GunKata.

to:

* In ''{{Film/Ultraviolet}}'', [[YouCanPanicNow demonizing]] [[OurVampiresAreDifferent hemophages]] as monsters instead of treating them as victims of disease enabled the Evil Drug Company has become the "Militant Medical Establishment" known as the [=ArchMinistry=]. Unfortunately, they did too good a job of hunting them, and them and, by the time of the movie movie, needed a new threat to "protect" the world from - a from--a "human antigen" antigen", cultivated inside of a LivingMacGuffin. Once it's released, people will have to line up at [=ArchMinistry=] to get the cure or die. Cue GunKata.



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* ''Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire'': Inverted. [[spoiler: Littlefinger is practically stuffing the "curing" medication down little Robert Arryn's neck via a Maester (or using the poor guy as camouflage) in a bid to fully control when to kill him with it under the cover of helping him. The Vale is, unknowingly, being held to ransom as a result.]] Remember, folks: too much of an otherwise good thing is often bad.

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* ''Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire'': Inverted. [[spoiler: Littlefinger [[spoiler:Littlefinger is practically stuffing the "curing" medication down little Robert Arryn's neck via a Maester (or using the poor guy as camouflage) in a bid to fully control when to kill him with it under the cover of helping him. The Vale is, unknowingly, being held to ransom as a result.]] Remember, folks: too much of an otherwise good thing is often bad.



[[folder: Live-Action TV ]]
* In the ''Series/DoctorWho'' episode "Dalek", the villain brags about having discovered a cure for the common cold -- which he isn't going to give to anyone, as it gets him more money if he just sells the existing medication.

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[[folder: Live-Action TV ]]

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* In the ''Series/DoctorWho'' episode "Dalek", the villain brags about having discovered a cure for the common cold -- which cold--which he isn't going to give to anyone, as it gets him more money if he just sells the existing medication.



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** In ''Case West'', [[spoiler: BigBad EvilCripple Marian Mallon - who proudly displays a giant zombie bite on her cheek - implies that the accusations are true, and they are suppressing the cure in favor of distributing Zombrex for money and ForTheEvulz. VillainsNeverLie, but can you say SequelHook?]]

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** In ''Case West'', [[spoiler: BigBad [[spoiler:BigBad EvilCripple Marian Mallon - who proudly displays a giant zombie bite on her cheek - implies that the accusations are true, and they are suppressing the cure in favor of distributing Zombrex for money and ForTheEvulz. VillainsNeverLie, but can you say SequelHook?]]



* ''VideoGame/{{Fallout 3}}'': The Pitt (post-apocalyptic Pittsburgh) is an irradiated city where the slaves all suffer from a horrible disease while the one in charge holds the cure but refuses to share it, though it turns out [[spoiler:that the cure is his own infant daughter who was born with immunity; the reason he's withholding it is because he doesn't want to hurt her for the sake of the cure]]. The Lone Wanderer has the choice of siding with the tyrant in charge or a rebel leader to free the slaves and take the cure.

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* ''VideoGame/{{Fallout 3}}'': ''VideoGame/Fallout3'': The Pitt (post-apocalyptic Pittsburgh) is an irradiated city where the slaves all suffer from a horrible disease while the one in charge holds the cure but refuses to share it, though it turns out [[spoiler:that the cure is his own infant daughter who was born with immunity; the reason he's withholding it is because he doesn't want to hurt her for the sake of the cure]]. The Lone Wanderer has the choice of siding with the tyrant in charge or a rebel leader to free the slaves and take the cure.



** In the ending, [[spoiler: Batman seemingly considers this due to the unstoppable cycle of prison breaks and deaths Joker always causes. Batman was willing to give him the cure, but Joker stabbed Bats on the shoulder before revealing this. This results in Batman dropping and accidentally destroying the cure. [[NeverMyFault Joker blames Batman for this]], but finds the fact that Bats was ready to cure him humorous, and dies laughing. As there were no witnesses, most thugs in Gotham believe that Batman withheld the cure on purpose.]]
** In the Season of Infamy DLC in ''VideoGame/BatmanArkhamKnight'', [[spoiler: players can choose to let Ra's die by destroying the last Lazarus on earth.]]

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** In the ending, [[spoiler: Batman [[spoiler:Batman seemingly considers this due to the unstoppable cycle of prison breaks and deaths Joker always causes. Batman was willing to give him the cure, but Joker stabbed Bats on the shoulder before revealing this. This results in Batman dropping and accidentally destroying the cure. [[NeverMyFault Joker blames Batman for this]], but finds the fact that Bats was ready to cure him humorous, and dies laughing. As there were no witnesses, most thugs in Gotham believe that Batman withheld the cure on purpose.]]
** In the Season of Infamy DLC in ''VideoGame/BatmanArkhamKnight'', [[spoiler: players [[spoiler:players can choose to let Ra's die by destroying the last Lazarus on earth.]]



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[[folder: Western Animation ]]

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* Carter Pewterschmidt of ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy'' discovered a cure for cancer in the 1990's, but is keeping it to himself purely because treating a cancer patient for the rest of their lives will earn far more profit than curing them with a single treatment.

to:

* Carter Pewterschmidt of ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy'' discovered a cure for cancer in the 1990's, 1990s but is keeping it to himself purely because treating a cancer patient for the rest of their lives will earn far more profit than curing them with a single treatment.



[[folder: Real Life ]]
* The [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tuskegee_syphilis_experiment Tuskegee syphilis experiment.]] A clinical study run by the US government for ''fifty years'' on the progression of syphilis in southern Blacks. When the study started, it involved treating syphilis with an expensive and not very effective treatment. When the funding got reduced, they couldn't afford the treatment. Instead, they just continued to study the patients, while telling them they were being treated so they could study the progression of the disease, without informing them exactly what they had. Then, during the course of the study, a cheap and effective cure (penicillin) became available, but the doctors in charge realized that curing the patients would put an end to their research. Not only did they withhold treatment, but ''they refused to tell the subjects what they were sick with'', allowing the disease to spread in the process. [[PyrrhicVillainy This pretty much destroyed any future attempts at using science to justify racism.]] It showed that black people also were affected by the disease exactly the same that white people were. Before this it was almost accepted that white people were medically different from black people and therefore superior or such nonsense.
* Many a Real Life company has been accused of this, and it does happen, but for two separate reasons;
** Not so diabolically, after the [[PrecisionFStrike clusterfuck]] that was [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thalidomide Thalidomide]] being rushed to market without research about potential side effect, a lot of countries made strict laws about medical testing. So a potential cure must go through years and countless batteries of tests before it can even be approved for humans. And if they give the experimental drug to a person with a lethal disease and they die that gets counted as a death caused from the drug. So that results in even more tests and more years to get to market.
** 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; 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". 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]]
*** ''Extremely'' [[ParanoiaFuel paranoia-inducing]] given that Jonas Salk, the man who annihilated Polio, [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jonas_Salk#AIDS_vaccine_work spent the last fifteen years of his life]] attempting to do the same to [=AIDS=] - but was unable to finish his research due to inability to get ''[[CorruptCorporateExecutive insurance]].''
* Averted by [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jonas_Salk Jonas Salk.]] He had developed the first effective vaccine against Polio which was ravaging the United States and other countries at the time. He refused to patent so that it could be made at cost and made Polio something that only happens in third world countries.

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[[folder: Real Life ]]

[[folder:Real Life]]
* The [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tuskegee_syphilis_experiment Tuskegee syphilis experiment.]] A clinical study run by the US government for ''fifty years'' on the progression of syphilis in southern Blacks. When the study started, it involved treating syphilis with an expensive and not very effective not-very-effective treatment. When the funding got reduced, they couldn't afford the treatment. Instead, they just continued to study the patients, while telling them they were being treated so they could study the progression of the disease, without informing them exactly what they had. Then, during the course of the study, a cheap and effective cure (penicillin) became available, but the doctors in charge realized that curing the patients would put an end to their research. Not only did they withhold treatment, but ''they refused to tell the subjects what they were sick with'', allowing the disease to spread in the process. [[PyrrhicVillainy This pretty much destroyed any future attempts at using science to justify racism.]] It showed that black people also were affected by the disease exactly the same that white people were. Before this this, it was almost accepted that white people were medically different from black people and therefore superior or such nonsense.
* Many a Real Life real-life company has been accused of this, and it does happen, but for two separate reasons;
** Not so diabolically, after the [[PrecisionFStrike clusterfuck]] that was [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thalidomide Thalidomide]] being rushed to market without research about potential side effect, effects, a lot of countries made strict laws about medical testing. So a potential cure must go through years and countless batteries of tests before it can even be approved for humans. And if they give the experimental drug to a person with a lethal disease and they die die, that gets counted as a death caused from the drug. So that results in even more tests and more years to get to market.
market.
** 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 cures--especially as many such symptoms are actually the body's effort to fight the disease; 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 ''longer''--and conveniently, buy more cold "medicine". 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]]
*** ''Extremely'' [[ParanoiaFuel paranoia-inducing]] given that Jonas Salk, the man who annihilated Polio, [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jonas_Salk#AIDS_vaccine_work spent the last fifteen years of his life]] attempting to do the same to [=AIDS=] - but AIDS--but was unable to finish his research research, due to the inability to get ''[[CorruptCorporateExecutive insurance]].''
* Averted by [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jonas_Salk Jonas Salk.]] He had developed the first effective vaccine against Polio which was ravaging the United States and other countries at the time. He refused to patent patent, so that it could be made at cost cost, and made Polio something that only happens in third world third-world countries.
13th Jan '17 3:09:22 PM Kalaong
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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; 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". 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.

to:

** 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; 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". 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]]



30th Dec '16 4:49:41 PM nombretomado
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* The {{DCAU}} style animated movie ''WesternAnimation/SupermanDoomsday'' briefly mentions this as a KickTheDog moment. Lex Luthor has found a cure for muscular dystrophy, but he's holding it back until he can slow it down to a lifetime treatment and make more money, as he's not satisfied with the $300 billion he estimates it would already make him.

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* The {{DCAU}} Franchise/{{DCAU}} style animated movie ''WesternAnimation/SupermanDoomsday'' briefly mentions this as a KickTheDog moment. Lex Luthor has found a cure for muscular dystrophy, but he's holding it back until he can slow it down to a lifetime treatment and make more money, as he's not satisfied with the $300 billion he estimates it would already make him.
19th Nov '16 7:10:39 PM Kalaong
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* The first season of ''Anime/GhostInTheShellStandAloneComplex'' deals with this in the form of the Murai Vaccine, a cure for a otherwise-incurable disease called cyberbrain sclerosis, and the various conspiracies at work to keep the vaccine from being approved for the general public in favor of {{Nanomachine}}-based treatments - ''ineffective'' ones that nonetheless serve as excellent [[TestedOnHumans test cases]] for technologies that help JapanTakesOverTheWorld. One such is a subversion of the [[spoiler:EnhanceButton]]. Worst part? {{Corrupt Corporate Executive}}s and {{Corrupt Politician}}s use it freely in secrecy, saving themselves while using the citizenry as guinea pigs.

to:

* The first season of ''Anime/GhostInTheShellStandAloneComplex'' deals with this in the form of the Murai Vaccine, a cure for a an otherwise-incurable disease called cyberbrain sclerosis, and the various conspiracies at work to keep the vaccine from being approved for the general public in favor of {{Nanomachine}}-based treatments - ''ineffective'' ones that nonetheless serve as excellent [[TestedOnHumans test cases]] for technologies that help JapanTakesOverTheWorld. One such is a subversion of the [[spoiler:EnhanceButton]]. Worst part? {{Corrupt Corporate Executive}}s and {{Corrupt Politician}}s use it freely in secrecy, saving themselves while using the citizenry as guinea pigs.



** In ''Comicbook/DoctorStrange: The Oath'', Doc retrieves a magical elixir that has the power to "erase what troubles the mind of man", hoping it can save Wong's life. It turns out to be the CureForCancer (and everything else), which causes a corrupt pharmaceuticals company to send an assassin to shoot Strange and steal the elixir.

to:

** In ''Comicbook/DoctorStrange: The Oath'', Doc retrieves a magical elixir that has the power to "erase what troubles the mind of man", hoping it can save Wong's life. It turns out to be the CureForCancer (and [[{{Panacea}} everything else), else]]), which causes a corrupt pharmaceuticals company to send an assassin to shoot Strange and steal the elixir.elixir. For extra points, Wong is dying of cancer and being kept alive with "Timelozar", which is manufactured solely by "Timely Pharmaceuticals", the exact same company that sent the assassin.
29th Oct '16 1:12:46 AM Morgenthaler
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!!!Examples

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!!!Examples
!!Examples:
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http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/article_history.php?article=Main.WithholdingTheCure