Here's a Financial Times piece that is fairly critical of the pharma industry that is likley appearing now in response to Pfizer's recent decision to cut back it R&D in Sandwich, UK and in Groton, CT. It starts by remembering Merck and J&J in their more "glory years" period where both were very highly regarded from a business and ethical point of view.
It then talks about how Big Pharma has changed to become less patient and more financially focused with negative consequences as a result. Some of these being the industry's seeming fascination with me-too drugs, drugs for minor ailments of the rich countries versus more glarign medical needs of developing nations, focus on marketing over development -- all of which appears to have driven the industry to be less successful and more reviled by the public - the sterling image of yesteryear being despoiled. The Times article claims the industry's response to these woes is to increase lobbying efforts to delay further sales/profits erosion.
The article concludes with this thought:
"When an industry is broken, the best business strategy may be to manage its decline."
Ouch! Let's resolve that we're not there yet, and with some retooling of the development model and government support with tax policy can spur innovation -- so that the indsutry can recapture its momentum and restore some of it lost luster.
Posted by Bruce Lehr Feb 9th 2011.