Pfizer is the largest drug company in the US. As with most of these companies theirÂ modus operandi differs from the run-of-the-mill, straight vanilla, companiesâ€™ way of doing business. Unlike, for instance GM, that has simple met ( not lately) demand for the past hundred years, drug companies do not just meet demand. For the most part they are responsible for creating it as well , and actually spend more on marketing than R&D. Being bureaucracies they are not very good at research and consequently rely very heavily on smaller drug companies where the incidence of the â€œeurekaâ€Â moment is far more frequent and then taking them over by way of making an offer that cannot be refused.Â All of this with patent protection, now up to 20 years , and many other little loopholes to boot, and you have a great model that almost guarantees outlandish profits. But remember that they are skating on very thin ice. No real demand, generic competition, government subsidies and an iffy legal framework for protection, and most importantly, an efficacity of less than 60% according to BW,Â a very volitile brew!
Â Â Â Not being a user of medication other than the odd aspirin, I do not have a first-hand understanding of the the difference between a â€œneedâ€and a â€œwantâ€ when it comes to things like Lipitor or Viagra or whatever. What does seem pretty clear to me is that the day is coming, and coming soon, that this is all going toÂ deflate Â and shrink back to normal. Perhaps tomorrow, governments all over the world will figure out that a good book will be as good a cure as any,better perhaps than the no-cost placebo,Â and stop paying for this. Not good for big pharma.
Â Â Â Â But bigÂ pharma has been down for 10 years nowÂ so inÂ the meantimeÂ a little renaissance may be around the corner. Pfizer looks like a good buy for the short â€“term. See chart, it should hit a low soon and then rebound nicely. Not sure what the WYE deal does for it. 60+ billion is a lot of money to pay for someone elseâ€™s pipeline. Maybe why the stock cratered recently.