Why is pharma so addicted to growth?

  • As sales of Merck & Co.’s immuno-oncology heavy hitter Keytruda soared 66% in the fourth quarter to $2.15 billion, surpassing Wall Street’s expectations they were knocked because analysts want to know ‘what’s next”?
  • Pharma is obsessed with fighting and winning and dominating even if it means making bad business decisions.
  • The wisdom of setting business goals—always striving for bigger and better—is so established within pharma that it seems like the only thing left to debate is whether the goals are ambitious enough.
  • Pharma is suffering from ambition hyperinflation.
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Pharma still blaming drug middlemen for obscene prices

  • Pharma, which used to cite the high cost of research, now say rebates within supply chain drive up prices.
  • Pharma says they don’t actually benefit much from list-price increases and that their net prices are suffering, because they are paying bigger rebates to pharmacy-benefit managers that negotiate prices in secret with their clients, such as employers and labor unions.
  • Drugmakers’ price increases are unrelated to the rebates, according to research commissioned by the Pharmaceutical Care Management Association, a trade group for PBMs.
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Pharma is obsessed with dominating

  • Companies that live in such a zero-sum world don’t “earn market share” from a competitor, they “conquer the market.” 
  • They don’t just serve their customers, they “capture” them and they don’t treat them like customers.
  • It’s easier to buy competitors than invest in R&D now.
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While CPG brands move digital in-house, pharma continues to rely on agencies

  •  91% of brands have moved at least a part of their digital marketing operations in-house. (Source: Search Engine Journal)
  • Cost efficiency, greater control, and increased transparency are amongst the biggest reasons for in-housing.
  •  56% of respondents say a lack of existing talent and skills to build a competent in-house team in the biggest obstacle.
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How is Pfizer employee morale?

  • 41 of Pfizer’s drugs have been picked for a price hike on January 15, averaging 5%.
  • Pfizer noted Friday that the increases will be offset by higher rebates and discounts offered to insurance companies and pharmacy benefit managers.
  • Pfizer had the highest profit total ($4.1 billion) of any publicly traded health care company in the third quarter.

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Above all pharma companies are a business

  • Pharma companies don’t really care about patients despite all their hubris.
  • PhRMA has already spent $21 million on lobbying this year — a sum that puts it on course to smash its previous annual lobbying records.
  • Pharmaceutical companies have been top performers in the healthcare sector in an era of aging populations, rising health care costs, and the ongoing development of new and extremely profitable medicines.
  • Research shows that 78 percent of patents approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration correspond to medications already on the market.
  • Large pharma companies spend more on share buybacks to boost share prices (and stock options — the main way that executives get paid) than on research and development.

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Pharma gives the middle finger to patients

  • President Donald Trump in May said that drugmakers would soon announce “massive” price cuts but they aren’t in the loop.
  • Bayer raised the price of two cancer drugs by hundreds of dollars in May and Novartis followed by boosting four pricey treatments in June. [inlinetweet prefix=”” tweeter=”” suffix=””]Pfizer, one of the largest U.S. pharma companies, announced increases on more than 41 products this week.[/inlinetweet]
  • [inlinetweet prefix=”” tweeter=”” suffix=””]A Wells Fargo report found 104 price increases in June and the first two days of July[/inlinetweet], with an average jump of 31.5 percent and a median increase of 9.4 percent. That followed 48 increases in May.

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