Brandweek: "AstraZeneca would love to be Pfizer, dealing with Rost"
Jim Edwards over at Brandweek is getting dangerous. I guess I'm lucky he isn't a Pfizer lawyer:
Can Pfizer Get Over Its Anger and Utilize the Leverage It Has With Rost?
It's extremely difficult to ignore the fact that Fortune has done a flattering feature story on Peter Rost. Rost could be on the verge of parlaying his position in the media from "one hit blogging wonder" into "permanent fixture that all drug companies will have to deal with in the future."
Whether Rost can successfully negotiate the transition over the next couple of years will be interesting. (It won't be a secret, of course. He'll tell us all about it whether we like it or not.) My money says Rost could be in this for the long run.
There is, of course, one variable -- his two ongoing lawsuits against Pfizer, which to my knowledge are both unresolved.
What Pfizer's general counsel's office has been ignoring so far -- probably because the lawyers there find Rost infuriating -- is that they actually have a fantastic opportunity in front of them that no other drug company has: The ability to tie Rost up in a legal settlement that would prevent him from blogging about Pfizer ever again.
If Pfizer is ever able to swallow its pride and offer Rost a decent settlement, it is highly likely that they would require that he never say a public word again about the company. And given the scale of pharma settlements, it is highly likely, IMHO, that Rost would feel duty bound to accept those terms. He has a house, wife and kids to provide for after all, and bloggging and publishing don't make people rich.
Ironically, there are several pharma companies -- AZ among them -- who would love to be in Pfizer's position right now for that exact reason.
More comments on other blogs, click on headline to read:
Peter Rost Makes a Fortune
"Fortune magazine, that is. The Whistleblower gets written up for his activities exposing wrongdoing among Big Pharma companies."
Peter Rost: A Professional Pain In The…
By Ed Silverman
"The man Pfizer loves to hate is profiled in Fortune magazine…."
"One mistake Fortune made in its article - in discussing Rost and the AstraZeneca scandal, the magazine asserts the mainstream press followed the trail. In fact, except for The Philadelphia Inquirer and The Delaware News-Journal, the mainstream press missed the boat. The blogs, Rost and just a few others, including this one, forced big pharma to come to grips with this new medium. "
Fortune Magazine Touches on a Secret of Peter Rost’s Blog Success: Empathy
"John Mack once suggested that some pharma bloggers write about Peter Rost in the hope of “riding in his wake,” and increasing their own site traffic and links. It might seem that way, but, let’s face it. Rost has been one of the most enigmatic figures in . . ."
FORTUNE - PharmaGossip: " Witty Brit takes on drugmakers"
"Click on this link and See the box in the middle! Oh yeah! There's also an article about some guy called Rost."