How cheap do they think postdocs are?

I am in the lab really late tonight, and finished everything except waiting on my MTTs to be done, so I was just doing some website searching for a few products I need for my upcoming experiments, and I came across an interesting marketing spiel.

During my PhD when I needed a lot of rapamycin for my animal studies, I found this company called LC Labs, as a result of having to shop around, and overall I think they’re pretty cool – they don’t waste money on extravagant  marketing/trade shows/brightly colored catalogs/sales reps etc to keep prices low.  When I figured out how much rapamycin I would need for even the first 2 months of the study (and I had hoped it would last even longer if the mTOR pathway was important!), it would be $40K.  Yikes!   Even though my lab in grad school was very well-funded and we never worried about money, this figure was a bit shocking, so my PI asked us to look around….LC Labs to the rescue….just as an idea 1mg at Sigma is around $279, whereas LC Labs equally pure product is $225 for 500mg!….They have a handy-dandy chart on every product page with their competitors prices based on mass and purity claim which I like again, as it demonstrates transparency.

So even now I continue to check them out for drugs/reagents that I can’t just get for free from the pharmacy here.  On the staurosporine page tonight I read this funny statement that caught my eye:

“Buy 100-300 mg from LC Labs; support a postdoc for 1-2 years with the money you save!”

LOL, but really???  Lets see, if I needed a boatload of it (since it [staurosporine] inhibits many kinases at very low nanomolar doses) and wanted to order 300mg it would cost $1590 from LC Labs.  Most of their competitors don’t sell such a large size, but biorbyt does, and they charge $2245 for the same 300mg (according to the price table)….a $655 difference. Where can I find a postdoc for $655/year or even $655/month? (I’m taking notes for my future lab 😉

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1 Comment

Filed under Biology/science, Cancer research

One response to “How cheap do they think postdocs are?

  1. Nov. 3, 2014
    Dear CancerGeek,
    Thanks for highlighting some aspects of LC Labs’ pricing policies and resources for researchers!
    Our aim is to help researchers do large experiments without needing a rich uncle to fund their work. We do some basic research ourselves, and we are on the side of scientists who need top-quality, highly reliable small-molecule reagents at very low prices.
    Our price comparison tables are intended to prove our claim of “highest purities, lowest prices” (with very few exceptions across our product line).
    As for our calculation of money saved by purchasing from LC Labs instead of the 800-pound gorilla Sigma: our staurosporine flyer’s comparisons referred only to money saved vs. Sigma as a source. Doing the corresponding arithmetic yields a postdoc salary not in the princely range but certainly more than adequate to support intelligent life in the academic universe!
    Wishing you the best of luck and success in your research —
    Sincerely,
    LC LABORATORIES CUSTOMER SERVICE

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