Pharma Strategy Blog

Commentary on Pharma & Biotech Oncology / Hematology New Product Development

Earlier this month I came across a thoughtful blog post from Tim O'Reilly entitled "Work on stuff that matters: first principles" and it has been making me think ever since.  Image representing Tim O'Reilly as depicted in...Image by

Tim O’Reilly / Flickr

via CrunchBaseO'Reilly outlined three important things and I highly recommend reading his post:

1) Work on something that matters to you more than money.
2) Create more value than you capture.
3) Take the long view.

If we apply those simple parameters to the Wy-Pfi merger announced this morning, I'm left with a big feeling of FAIL on all three, it's like the city public internet router going down and hearing the wails of a thousand lost souls.

Money? It's all about near term sales and revenues, baby!

Value?  For Pfizer shareholders, perhaps, but not for Wyeth employees or society in general.

Long view? Umm, tricky one if the pipeline fails and does not deliver.  What then when Lipitor, Effexor and other drugs go off patent between 2011-2015?  What about the societal impact of baby boomers aging, as Eric Garner pointed out while commenting on the previous blog post?

The thing about this deal though, is that the merger will need Government approval and who knows how they will view this in the current economic climate.  They aren't always a given.

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One Response to “Work on stuff that matters: is Wy-Pfi a fail?”

  1. Sally Church

    As an addendum, the WSJ published a blog post explaining how many Pfizer and Wyeth employees might be lost if the proposed take over is approved:
    http://blogs.wsj.com/health/2009/01/27/checking-the-math-on-job-cuts-at-pfizer-and-wyeth/
    They concluded:
    “Let’s go through the math then. Pfizer employed about 81,900 people at the end of the year. Wyeth’s work force was about 47,600, according to a site created to explain the deal. So the total number of employees at both companies combined was about 129,500. So 15% of that total means 19,425 job cuts are on the way. Subtract Pfizer’s planned 10% cut, or 8,190 jobs, and you get 11,235 other jobs to go.”
    That’s a lot of people and it’s not clear how many of those 11,235 will be from Wyeth or both companies.

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