Please read with tongue in cheek, not to sound funny, but when I read "pharma sit round a table", it just didn't sound right. The history is interesting in that statins were first discovered in 1971 by a Japanese biochemist. It was never marketed because of adverse effects on tumours, muscle deterioration and the death of some of the laboratory dogs (always bad when that happens). Merck became interested and I suppose this is where they did sit round the table because their chief scientist and later CEO visited Japan many times and by 1976 had developed lovastatin. As much as the cost of these drugs may seem excessive, not so bad now they're out of patent, it's worth remembering that the life of a patent is 14 years and after filing they have to do all their testing before getting approval from the relevant bodies. No surprise that the cost of bringing any drug to being a commercial product is measured in billions, adequately compensated by the billions that they get in return and hopefully used to fund improvements and new drugs, while lining the pockets of the filthy rich.