Should we share Pfizer’s optimism?

Should we share Pfizer’s optimism?

Pfizer’s research chief Dr. John LaMattina is optimistic. Bullish, even. Like other big drug companies Pfizer seldom brings to market a meaningful new drug it has discovered and developed itself. With a $7 billion annual R&D budget that’Â’s kind of embarrassing. Big pharma companies have been innovative, but mainly on the commercial side ––figuring out ingenious ways to keep generics off the market or beat the taxman, for example.

But Dr. LaMattina insists in an interview in today’Â’s New York Times that things are about to change for the better. Pfizer has a rich early-stage pipeline and a couple of later stage products it discovered itself. The article hints that this boost in output could be a harbinger for the industry as a whole.

Even on its innovative new products Pfizer is mixing in a few marketing tricks. Take torcetrapib, which can raise HDL (aka ““good cholesterol”) and possibly prevent heart disease. Pfizer plans to sell the drug only as a combination product with Lipitor, meaning no other statin ––including generic simvastatin– —could be used alongside it, andcouldn’tit couldn’t be used alone. I don’Â’t have the inside story on this decision, but my speculation is that it’Â’s an attempt to prop up Lipitor during that drug’Â’s last couple of years of patent protection and also a way to punish the companies making generic statins.

July 18, 2006

One thought on “Should we share Pfizer’s optimism?”

  1. I took zyprexa starting in 1996 the year the FDA approved it, which was ineffective for my condition and gave me diabetes.

    Zyprexa is the product name for Olanzapine,it is Lilly’s top selling drug.It was approved by the FDA in 1996 ,an ‘atypical’ antipsychotic a newer class of drugs without the motor side effects of the older Thorazine.Zyprexa has been linked to causing diabetes and pancreatitis.

    Zyprexa, which is used for the treatment of psychiatric disorders, such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, accounted for 32% of Eli Lilly’s $14.6 billion revenue last year.

    Did you know that Lilly made nearly $3 billion last year on diabetic meds, Actos,Humulin and Byetta?

    Yes! They sell a drug that can cause diabetes and then turn a profit on the drugs that treat the condition that they may have caused in the first place!

    I was prescribed Zyprexa from 1996 until 2000.
    In early 2000 i was shocked to have an A1C test result of 13.9 (normal is 4-6) I have no history of diabetes in my family.

    All the psychiatrist I’ve interviewed and the information on line presents zyprexa as a worse offender than the other Atypicals such as seroquel.My doctor has stopped prescribing zyprexa altogether.

    The PDR classifies zyprexa as ‘severe’ for causing weight gain and diabetes and seroquel as ‘moderate’.

    Of course the 50 year old Thorazine didn’t cause diabetes and is many times cheaper but it could cause tardive dyskinesia.

    Where Eli Lilly’s negligence comes in,is their KNOWING and not informing consumers (black box warning) until the FDA demanded it.

    Lilly’s incentive not to readily disclose is they had billion$ coming in from state medicaid scripts.
    Daniel Haszard

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