Daily Archives: December 6, 2011

John Gapper

Whether or not Pfizer’s tactics to preserve Lipitor sales as it loses its patent protection succeed, they are a sobering reflection of the lack of success of big pharmaceutical companies in trying to replicate their past days of blockbuster glory.

Alan Rappeport’s report on how Pfizer is heavily cutting the price of its anti-cholesterol drug to see off generic competition illustrates how important blockbuster drugs from the past remain to Big Pharma.

As Forbes noted in a long piece on Lipitor, this reflects the prolonged squeeze on pharma companies, which have been struggling to come up with new products to replace those now falling off the patent cliff – Lipitor being the prime example. 

American Airlines finally plummeted into bankruptcy last week, eight years after workers’ wage concessions seemed to have helped parent AMR plot a route out of disaster. Managers hadn’t wrung enough from the workforce in 2003, some claimed. The staff hadn’t pulled their weight since, said others. Many concurred that the “discipline” of bankruptcy would have been good for American.