Sunday, August 22, 2010

More Visits to Big Pharma

In my last blog, I went looking for Big Pharma. I came across one of their lobbying groups, Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) ( ), and didn’t find much of a story. So, I decided to head over to the other major Big Pharma lobbying group, Biotechnology Industry Group ( ), and see what they had to say.

I found another site without content, at least relevant to an explanation of how an industry will grow out of its slump. The site is busy with all the de rigueur flash for a modern website. Although, I didn’t see Twitter, Facebook, or any other social media application. (But, I’ll bet they’ll be there soon.)

Like PhRMA’s site, there’s a lot going on but no general theme. One link looks suspiciously like a paid advertisement. Overall, this site reminds me of the saying that a horse is a camel designed by committee. There’s something for everyone. The prerequisite “green” sections are even there but don’t seem to tie together.

This is what I think is wrong with Big Pharma today. There is no direction. Everything is reactive, trying to please whomever the particular gods of the moment happen to be. Let’s hope they don’t get the idea that human sacrifice is needed. Nope, sorry, it’s been done. Just look at the layoffs of all the talent from many major pharmaceutical companies over the past several years. They’ll soon find that their best and brightest have been sacrificed to false gods as others have found throughout history.

I’m starting on a journey with this series of blogs. I’ll be traveling around the Web looking for Big Pharma’s story in its own words. But I want to get past the publicists’ hype. If you read the blurbs coming out of the executive suites, everything is fine. Pipelines are strong, healthcare reform is a non-issue, and on and on. I’m reminded of what IBM dispensed from Armonk when John Akers was still in charge.

My trip will go past the type of sites that I’ve been to lately. I’ll be looking for the real story because I know it’s there. Big Pharma is an industry in a state of flux as this blog has been reiterating since its inception. I believe that time is running out for Big Pharma. They’re going to hit the proverbial “tipping point”. Yes, the coffers are still full of cash, but revenue is beginning to sputter, and while cost cutting can keep the bottom line looking healthy for a while even a first year investment analyst knows that game gets played out eventually.

So, keep an eye on this blog as I go in search of Big Pharma’s future.

As always, we welcome your feedback. Please contact us at We look forward to hearing from you.

Contributed by Guy de Lastin

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