Pharma’s “goodwill” is gone

IN SUMMARY: Pharma’s reputation is going to continue to slide with new acquisitions that have to be paid for with high drug prices and the continuing loss of good employees who are being forced out by a dated culture.

Gilead’s $21 billion purchase of New Jersey-based biotechnology firm Immunomedics Inc. and its promising breast cancer drug Trodelvy, is being held up to intense3 scrutiny. At $88 a share, the acquisition represents a more than 100% premium on the smaller company’s stock price before the news broke. 

You can bet that is the purchase goes through and the drug is approved Gilead is going to price it in the stratosphere as they have done with so many other drugs they have purchased.

Then there is AbbVie. Not only have they continually fought to keep Humira off patent they are forcing their employees back to work in the office. It clearly shows a disregard for the people who are trying to do their jobs.

Pharma’s reputation has been bumped a little during the pandemic but that’s not going to last. Once again pharma companies are doing what’s necessary to keep the Street happy while shitting on employees and patients.

I have a LOT of contacts within the industry and pharma employees, in companies that have merged or been acquired, are looking to bail big time. Clashing cultures are leading to a big exodus but the winning culture is not always the right culture.

As one HR VP told me “we didn’t expect that this many people would be leaving our company”. The people who are leaving are top performers too. In one case an HCP Director left because, although she got an excellent review, her annual raise was only 5% while her health insurance went up almost 10%. Another person who resigned told me “our company culture got the job done without a lot of management interference. Now, its conference calls almost every day with micromanaging managers. It’s just draining’.

On the patient side, one thought leader told me that drug prices of his most recommended drugs are up almost 12% across the board and that patients are looking for ways to save money.

Pharma didn’t like Trump’s attempt to control drug costs but his hurry up executive order will be succeeded by a plan that will eventually force drug companies to bring down drug costs.

And you thought drug companies understood that it’s about patients and employees.