Photo by Louis Reed on Unsplash

Red, who's definitely not the business half of Red & Black, has heard over the years – especially from politicians and the media – that drug companies are the bad guys. Charging astronomical prices for drugs. Disclosing dangerous side effects or that it's potentially habit-forming. OK, they may be legally required to disclose that information but they do it at either the end of TV commercials in a way designed to make you "tune out" or, once you buy the drug, in the tiniest print. (OK, be honest, how many of you read the little pamphlet that comes with your medication? Red doesn't, and she was the straight-A student!)

Now, those same companies are spending millions and millions of dollars researching, developing, and testing drugs to prevent or treat Covid-19. Red, like many people, is thrilled at the news of seemingly successful vaccines rolling out any day now. However, at the risk of getting an unwanted business lesson on the drug industry, she comments to Black about all those previous conflicting impressions about the drug industry.

Black knows better than to try and explain to Red how you have to amortize R&D (research and development) expenses, or the fact that drug companies are businesses (not not-for-profit) so have a financial obligation to its shareholders. Not to mention, the issue of why manufacturing drugs has moved overseas. At this point, the bottom-line (pun intended) is that without more information you can't determine if drugs companies are going to be the good guys (although there's a financial implication, and accounting entry, for "goodwill") or the bad guys.

Time will tell … but meanwhile it provoked Black to ask:

Does doing good have to be mutually exclusive from doing well?
Design by Sawyer Pennington, Underlying photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

red head

Well, it’s our first column of the year. A new beginning. Any “new” ideas for topics? Something other than New Year’s resolutions.


Is there a reason you do not want to talk about resolutions?

Obviously, yours was not to ask fewer questions.

Black (use0

That will never happen, but you are avoiding the question. Why?


Because every year, I have a long list of things I want to do, and I start strong, but within a few months, I fall back into old habits. Sometimes it only takes weeks. It’s frustrating and disappointing.

Black (use)

Next question. What is the opposite of “old?"
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December’s so festive and full of magic, but it’s also about appreciating family and friends and those lives we’ve been lucky enough to be a part of and, hopefully, touched in a positive way. Which is something we often pay lip service to, because as much as we truly believe it, life has a way of going by in a blur, and before you know it, another year comes to an end.

This seemingly obvious observation became more than just words a few short, or so it seems, weeks ago when Black and I lost our mom. She had lived a full 94 years, but when the time came, it came quicker than expected, which was a blessing for her but difficult for those she left behind. And while Black and I each had a very different relationship with our mom, it has been a challenging time in many ways.

Luckily, the business side of Red & Black could be put “on hold” and Black posted (on our behalf),

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As we welcome 2022 … we wish a happy and healthy New Year to you!