PHARMA: What Peter Rost did over his holiday weekend

While you were enjoying your burgers, beer and bangs, Peter Rost was writing a book review of his boss’ new book. And he decided to put in a very obvious place called Amazon.com. Here it is:

Pfizer’s CEO, Dr. Hank McKinnell has written an astonishing book in which he admits that he doesn’t always believe in what he’s saying [11], that drugs from Canadian pharmacies are safe [69] and that high US drug prices have nothing to do with past R&D expenses [46]. He also writes that "perhaps pharmaceuticals represent too low a percentage of total healthcare spending" [45] and he calls for "price controls to be lifted" around the world [64], because "It is time for Canadians and others to pay their fair share." [65]. He also calls for a doubling of drug patent life [185] which would result in a drastic reduction of new, low-priced generic drugs.

Dr. McKinnell starts his book with the surprising confession that he doesn’t always believe in what he’s saying. "They listened to my logic, but I could tell they weren’t convinced, and to tell you the truth, I wasn’t either." [11]

He also doesn’t shy away from embarrassing facts, "Branded drug prices are anywhere from 25-100 percent more expensive in the United States." [50] He even admits, "Drugs from Canadian pharmacies are as safe as drugs from pharmacies in the United States." [69]

But his impressive mea culpa doesn’t stop there. He slams everyone who makes a connection between drug prices and R&D. "It’s a fallacy to suggest that our industry, or any industry, prices a product to recapture the R&D budget spent in development." [46] Finally, in an astonishing intellectual somersault, Dr. McKinnell claims that "price controls always make prices higher in the long run." [64] And since he wants to give people lower drug prices, by eliminating price controls, he writes, "Starting with pharmaceuticals, I call for price controls to be lifted in Canada and elsewhere." [64] Dr. McKinnell ends his book with a wonderful quote by Gandhi, for those who desire change. "First they ignore you. Then they laugh at you. Then they fight you. Then you win." [193] Dr. McKinnell just doesn’t realize that he has become "them."

Here’s  a little context from Jim Edwards at Brandweek.

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2 replies »

  1. Go, Rost, go!
    Many of the governement whistleblower rules apparently have “no media allowed” written into their rules. As I see it, though, public awareness is what protects people from being “disappeared”.
    By the way, the Judge didn’t hear my case yet again today. That’s FIVE MONTHS of paperwork, research, and wasted trips to Oakland so far. Does anyone have contact information for Ralph Nader? I believe at this point my case should feature in his “corporate perversion of justice” files.

  2. I’m really, truly suprised that Pfizer hasn’t had Dr. Rost “disappeared.” Of course for telling the truth.
    He must have them by the balls.