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DBL%20Hendrix%20small.png College chemistry, 1983

Derek Lowe The 2002 Model

Dbl%20new%20portrait%20B%26W.png After 10 years of blogging. . .

Derek Lowe, an Arkansan by birth, got his BA from Hendrix College and his PhD in organic chemistry from Duke before spending time in Germany on a Humboldt Fellowship on his post-doc. He's worked for several major pharmaceutical companies since 1989 on drug discovery projects against schizophrenia, Alzheimer's, diabetes, osteoporosis and other diseases. To contact Derek email him directly: derekb.lowe@gmail.com Twitter: Dereklowe

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In the Pipeline: Don't miss Derek Lowe's excellent commentary on drug discovery and the pharma industry in general at In the Pipeline

In the Pipeline

« The Bones of the World | Main | Bigger and Greasier »

February 13, 2005

Pfizer's Prospects

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Posted by Derek

I have company, naturally, in my views on Pfizer's prospects. Here's a story from the AP which does a good job wrapping all the doubts up into one package. But you can't please everyone: I notice people over on the Pfizer discussion board on Yahoo, moaning about "Why does the AP hate Pfizer?" (Why else, in their worldview, would anyone say such things?) The usual stock-board answers are trotted out - it's the "shorts," don't you know, and the evil money managers who want your shares cheap. Makes you wonder when we're going to root all those people out, so stocks will have no choice but to rise forever, doesn't it? Oh, speed the day when there are no cheap stocks!

So much for the amateurs - how about the professionals? I should try to do a chart of the sorts of quotes we're seeing now versus the ones from the days when Pfizer's stock was higher and they were an Unstoppable Behemoth. (I've been saying the same nasty stuff all along, but I don't get paid.)

Now, it's true that I work for one of Pfizer's competitors, and you should take that into account. (I don't own any Pfizer shares or have any options positions, though, nor am I short, although that wouldn't have been a bad idea.) No, I've managed to say nice things about some other companies that are also out to eat my lunch - it's just that Pfizer's style and strategy are just the opposite of what I think a drug company's should be. They have good people there, and they have some interesting things in their pipeline, and neither of those are going to be enough.

We should face up to it: it's possible for a Big Pharma to get too big, at least if they're going to go around promising double-digit growth to all comers. I'm not sure just when you cross that line, but I feel pretty safe in saying that Pfizer is on the other side of it.

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