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November 3, 2008
Pfizer: Strategy, Layoffs, and Money
I shouldn't pick on Jeff Kindler, because I wouldn't want to be CEO of Pfizer, not the least little bit. But he gave an interview recently to the Financial Times, who asked him (naturally) about the Lipitor patent expiration. His answer:
We're facing a very significant loss of exclusivity in Lipitor at the end of 2011. We have a clear plan for positioning the company for strong, profitable growth after that. That plan consists of pursuing significant new opportunities for increased revenues starting with our internal pipeline, getting further growth out of our existing products, growing in the emerging markets, growing our business on off-patent products. We sell billions of dollars of off-patent products and in many parts of the world that's the most important opportunity to meet unmet medical needs and looking for other potential sources of revenues.
I realize that this is the only sort of answer that he could have given, and the only sort that the FT could have expected. But, still. Distill it down, and you have, basically, "We're going to get around losing all that Lipitor revenue by making more money on all our other stuff". Good to hear that, but I'm still not running out to buy any Pfizer stock.
And while we're on the subject of Pfizer, the layoffs there continue to grind on, from what I'm hearing. I don't think that people have quite heard yet if they're staying or going, but I assume that that will happen in time to give everyone a festive Thanksgiving season. In general, it sounds like the company is heading even further down the path of higher associate/PhD ratio that they announced a couple of years ago, with a lot of outsourcing in the mix as well.
But here's a question: how many of the people who will be laid off are people that Pfizer, at great expense, paid to move to Groton from Ann Arbor? Surely there will be a good number in that category, and they've just barely settled down in Connecticut by now. Pfizer's relocation seems to have been pretty generous - picking up property value differences on house sales and the like - and all for this?
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