Pharma Giles continues to be very entertaining . . .
Here is his most recent post:
I am sure that Dr. Peter Rost derives no pleasure from saying "I told you so"...
His blog today (April 3rd) shows little satisfaction (a mere 11 posts) at the news that Pfizer have been fined a total of $35m in relation to dodgy marketing practices for Genotropin, Pharmacia's legacy human growth hormone. Given Dr. Rost's shabby treatment by Pfizer, one would have expected a far more gleeful reaction to this news, news in which he played a pivotal role in bringing to the public's knowledge. But then I suppose that $35m in "fines" is small change for Pfizer, being merely a day's profit, or a paltry 0.175 of a McKinnell. Still, it's not the money, it's the principle, not that Pfizer seem to have too many of those these days.
For a company that seems desperate for innovation and would like to pride itself on its openness and honesty, I am always puzzled as to why Pfizer was so desperate to get rid of Dr. Rost. I am convinced that his serial whistleblowing wasn't the real reason behind his enforced departure. It is much more probably because the somewhat eccentric Dr. Rost just simply didn't fit in with the "wallpaper" culture that is Big Pharma these days. Bland is safe. Mavericks aren't. Don't stand out from the herd, never ask questions and do what you are told. Rost had to go because of a personality clash with his former managers. He has one, they haven't. And yet it is eccentrics and mavericks like Dr. Rost who catalyse discovery and progress on all fronts, be it marketing or scientific innovation.
Pfizer wonders why it can't discover new drugs. Could it be because its corporate culture has purged out the very creativity that it needs? It is a shame for the pharmaceutical industry that they choose to try and suppress Dr. Rost's undoubtedly huge and effective creativity rather than harness it in some way. But that might in itself require a measure of risk taking and creative thinking that used to be called "people management", before that became just another term for corporate suppression of its employees.
Much better to let a lawyer run the show, eh? "Safe pair of hands" and all that...
Labels: Pharma Giles