Saturday, September 11, 2010

Still on the Cyberroad

I’m still on the cyberroad looking for Big Pharma’s story. Larry made a very telling observation when I sent him my last blog for his editorial review (You didn’t really think he lets me post a blog without some form of adult supervision now did you?). He found it interesting that these companies weren’t talking about their survival.

He’s right. That’s what’s been missing here for me. Big Pharma isn’t showing any evidence that they think they are in trouble. Despite what has happened to the U.S. mainframe computer and auto industries, to name just a couple of recent, high profile examples, Big Pharma seems oblivious to what’s going on around them. I once read that Hegel, the German philosopher, had said that history repeats itself as tragedy reenacted as comedy. In which case, Big Pharma may be getting an Emmy soon for the sit-com that they’ve got in the works.

What I’ve seen so far on my journey reminds of the teams in the NFL. The team colors, the players’ names, and the hometowns are different but they’re all playing the same game by the same rules and everything always looks vaguely familiar. That’s what is most unsettling for me in this blog series.

This week, I visited Bristol-Meyers Squibb’s (BMS’s) website ( ). Another nicely done coding job, doesn’t have some of the flash of Merck’s ( ), but, it does the technical job. I just didn’t get a sense of anything being amiss. I know I’m not the only one who feels that there’s trouble brewing in the pharmaceutical industry. (And, there are others too besides Larry who agrees with me.) Here’s another example of that complacency.

BMS’s pipeline ( ) looks like they’re keeping busy. I can’t comment on the specifics. But, I do promise that I’ll come back at some future date and look at these pipeline pages and see what it all means. Like for example, how much redundancy is there across all these pipelines? Another question, what types of markets are there? Finally, who’s going to pay for all these drugs?

When I look at sites like these, I see buzz words like big and small molecules, and biopharma. Everyone wants to take care of everyone and make them all well again. The altruism is stifling.

Please don’t get me wrong. I’m not writing this blog to be negative. I started out in search of originality and so far I’m coming up empty.

In future blogs, I’m going to visit a few more pharmaceutical companies before I go down a different path and look for some of the analysts and other commentators on the industry to validate my findings and see if I’ve missed something somewhere. Likewise, my beloved readers, please send me any links that you feel I should check out as I continue my journey looking for Big Pharma’s story.

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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