Mea Culpa by a Big Pharma CEO

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Dr. Peter Rost, Pfizer's Vice President of Marketing, reviews Pfizer CEO Dr. Hank McKinnell's new book "A Call to Action."

Short Hills, NJ (PRWEB) July 5, 2005— Pfizer's CEO, Dr. Hank McKinnell has written an astonishing book "A Call to Action" 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 U.S. drug prices have nothing to do with past R&D expenses (46). Dr. Peter Rost, Vice President of Marketing for Pfizer reviews this enlightening new title.

Dr. McKinnell 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.

Pfizer's CEO begins 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)

And he 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)

For Dr. Rost's full review of "A Call to Action," please see attachment.

Dr. Peter Rost is a Vice President of Marketing at Pfizer. The views expressed here are Peter Rost's and Hank McKinnell’s own opinions.

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