KEY TAKEAWAY: Pharma companies aren’t monolithic buildings up on a hill; they are made up of people who determine pricing and policies. How do you think the people at Gilead feel when they read that their company put profit ahead of patients?
What happened? When did business people, who feel profits first patients second, take over our industry? When did the CEO’s, who have a history of laying off people, decide it was OK to let 600 people go when they are earning a $13 million paycheck and vacationing in France?
What really upsets me in all these headlines is that the good people, who believe in what they do, and try and put patients first, are being minimized by zealous business people whose primary job is keeping investors happy. I know there are a lot of hard working, good people still working to improve patient lives, but their voices are not being reported.
If I worked for Gilead I guess I would tell myself that our drug is benefitting society by curing a horrible disease, but to everyone who needs the treatment can afford it that thought is just denial.
The industry is in dire need of senior executives and managers who are passionate about patients and improving their lives. We don’t need more spreadsheet MBA’s who only know balance sheets and profit/loss. Until we hire more of these people the industry is getting exactly what it deserves.