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November 28, 2004
I remember when this year started that I said that no one in the industry was going to miss 2003, but I think that a lot of folks would trade in 2004 to have it back. I'm pretty easygoing, but man, this has been one of the worst stretches for the drug business that anyone can recall. Every week brings more news of layoffs, regulatory troubles, lawsuits and investigations. We have a front-row seat for the long-running show titled One Damn Thing After Another, and the intermission is not yet in sight.
I won't bother to link to all the individual stories - just go to any news site and enter in the name of a drug company. Odds are the first story that comes up will be negative. It's quite a sight.
But it's important to keep some perspective, even as another load of subpoenas and rotten tomatoes comes in over the transom. The drug industry isn't going away. We perform a vital service, and it's just going to get more important with time. We, our current customers, even the same people who are howling for our heads now will need medicines. And (for many years to come) we - for all our faults - will be the only people who even have a hope of delivering them. We just have to hold on, and hope that all this is a period of creative destruction, rather than the standard bulk-rate kind.
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