Merck is back

Hats off to Mr. Gilmartin, Merck's CEO and member in Microsoft's Board of Directors! He might not embody everyone's idea of the contemporary CEO yet having the guts to pull Vioxx off the drug market was the right thing to do. With the tort law reform atmosphere in Washington, an ageing population in the developed world, more access to medical services in the developing world, and its own cash pile, Merck has almost what it takes to consider its next steps.

The jury is still out on the fruits of Merck's marketing arrangements with its partners. Novartis might have just signaled what it takes to ride the next wave in pharma: generics. Whether or not more generics is what Merck needs to get out of the current conundrum, the Company and Mr. Gilmartin himself ought to decide who the top guy is.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

fCh, is Merck supposed to start a buying competion with Novartis and try to build itslef as another generics giant? It looks like blockbuster drugs don't come easy.

--I work somehow in the field...

fCh said...

To the extent building a 'generics' powerhouse by a company besides Novartis is still possible (i.e. there is enough left to buy,) I posit that it may be an interesting course of action, save for a price war though.

However, I am rather of the opinion that Novartis made a move that is hard to replicate and will build fast on its first mover advantage.

a shareholder of 900 said...

From the reccent shareholder's meeting:

"I don't blame you for the Vioxx situation, but in America you get paid for success and not for trying," (William Steiner, Merck shareholder addressing the company's top management)

"You screwed up royally!" (Lorraine Bracey, another Merck shareholder, addressing the same management).

A pharma guy said...

Mr. fChircu, your original posting from early March ended with the sentence" "Whether or not more generics is what Merck needs to get out of the current conundrum, the Company and Mr. Gilmartin himself ought to decide who the top guy is."

Now, it looks like a 6-month executive search to replace Mr. Gilmartin ended with a Merck insider, Richard T. Clark, 59. He used to be our head of manufacturing. Since the chairman's position is to remain open for 12+ months, I am assuming Clark must have been a default nomination and he'll have to prove himself beyond his operational capabilities. Not an easy task considering all the (legal) hurdles associated with our industry and company...

Anonymous said...

CACAT! Come on man, Hats off to Gilmartin - how can you say that? He was scared shit for his own stuff.

anon.

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