So I just found out yet another way in which capitalism is fucking us over. This example is in the pharmaceutical field, one already rich in such crimes.
You heard of Narcan? It's a substance with no appreciable effect by itself, but it undoes and prevents opioids from having any effects by completely clogging up the parts of the nerve cells to which they would bind. It's a remarkably elegant tactic, but one around which we can't really design new substances because of the scale of the cell parts involved -- Narcan's effect was, like that of almost all drugs, discovered by a bit of educated guesswork and a lot of trial and error. However, we already (if just barely) can design such substances at the macromolecular level, which is the scale of the organelles of viruses and bacteries which hook them onto their host cells. This is called anti-adhesion therapy, and you never heard of it because, of course, there's no money to be made from it, and this time there asn't a Soviet Union to save the day by doing unprofitable yet invaluable research as it did with phage therapy. Anti-adhesion therapy came into being just as the country was dismantled, so global research into this area has been vestigial.
This impossibility of profit, however, is unusual in that it's not necessarily about them being too effective and/or cheap. Rather it's a legal oversight on Porky's part. Intellectual property applies to drugs, among many other substances, which are distinct, small units, and these macromolecules, which are indescribably complex coagulations of many different small molecules, are out of bounds. This is more out of practical considerations than any principle on Porky's part, as macromolecules are impossible to be objectively standardized and typified -- technically, wood, for example, is one immense macromolecule.
At any rate, these macromolecules can't be patented, so as far as capitalism is concerned, it hardly exists. Only just now, the few scientists dedicated to this so-far diminutive field are figuring out a way to make small molecules capable of effecting this therapy. These work by self-assembling (a sort of self-important way to say they fit together with each other like Lego while inside the patient's body) into a macromolecule which actually serves the anti-adhesive function.
So that's at least 3 decades of wasted time which could have been spent developing treatments of a whole new paradigm against both bacteria and viruses, and possibly bigger pathogens in the future. Even if it turns out to not be particularly effective, such treatments with a different paradigm can prove to be literally life-savers in case the first line treatment in question reaches a seemingly unsurmountable limit. Cue phages again. So dengue can wait a bit more. It's not like anyone was ever in a hurry to cure that since it affects hardly anyone in rich countries anyway. But hey, at least those 3 decades were well-spent in creation of new boner pills. You can never have too many of those, right?