Do you, like some other kiwis I know, roll up and get your five yearly "pneumonia shot"? You did know, of course, that it was useless, right? Of course not. I mean, if that was the case, your doctor wouldn't have given it to you, right? You did know that the Cochrane Collaboration, medical doyen of evidence based medicine, has stated that the polysaccharide pneumococcal vaccine is useless since their very first review of it right? (Latest one, 2008), You didn't know that? Well, that's because your doctor didn't tell you. I wonder why? Just like they don't tell you that the Cochrane collaboration says the flu vaccines are also rubbish. Well guess what? The UK vaccine committee, the JVCI has just announced on 17 March 2011, that they are removing the adult pneumococcal vaccine from their schedule which they've used and persuaded people for decades that it was worth having..., because it doesn't work. Why might this be? Altruism towards their patients? Of course not. they pulled it because on 13th March 2011Pfizer filed for use, a new PREVNAR 13 for adults. But the story doesn't end there.
Pfizer hopes PREVNAR 13 will earn them a cool $1.5 billion a year . Yup, you read that right. Of course, the old one earned them about that much as well. Even though it was worthLESS....
But wait. There is MORE....
The REAL reason why there are all these new vaccines being rolled out by Pfizer, is that this year - 2011 - Pfizer and all other companies have their backs to the wall because there are very few new block-buster drugs being rolled out, and all their profitable patents are running out, and their current 'business model is unsustainable" Therefore, you adults, a healthy untapped market, are their fiscal salvation.
Not a conspiracy. A reality. It's right there in bold print, and has been openly discussed since 2008.
..................... Pfizer knew it was coming, and planned for it, at least three years ago.
A painful prognosis for big drugmakers
By Lina Saigol, M&A Editor
Published: May 8 2008 04:01 | Last updated: May 8 2008 04:01
Some of the world’s biggest pharmaceuticals companies, including GlaxoSmithKline and AstraZeneca, face their worst crisis in decades, as their future revenues come are under threat from shrinking drug pipelines, increased competition from generics and a slew of patent expiries.
“For the first time in history, the industry will have negative growth in 2011,” says Alexis de Rosnay, global co-head of healthcare at Lehman Brothers.
This is a time-bomb the sector has known about for some time.
Its last big answer, up to about three or four years ago, was to pursue large-scale mergers and acquisitions.
AstraZeneca was created in a £52bn ($102bn) deal in 1999. GSK resulted from a £120bn deal in 2001. Pfizer launched a $53bn takeover of Pharmacia in 2003 and Sanofi-Aventis was formed from a $64bn merger in 2004.
But the megamerger strategy has failed to create value for shareholders. Costs were cut. Yet the hoped-for hothouse of new drug development never materialised.
Richard Girling, global co-head of healthcare at Merrill Lynch, says: “The problem is not so much the size of companies but the concentration and reliance on single products.
“This has been exacerbated by a lack of innovation over the years,” says Mr Girling.
The pain will be felt acutely over the coming few years, as patents expire at an ever faster pace, with fewer new blockbuster drugs coming through to replace them.
In the US alone, drugs collectively worth more than $62bn in 2006 sales are due to go off patent during 2008-12, making it easier for rival companies to sell generic versions of the same drugs.
As early as this year, GSK could see Lamictal go off patent. At the same time, Johnson & Johnson could lose protection of Risperdal and Merck’s patent on Lamictal could expire. By 2012, AZ’s Seroquel and GSK’s Avandia are top of the patent expiry list.
Perhaps the most extreme hit will be at Pfizer following the expiry of the patent on its blockbuster cholesterol pill Lipitor in 2010. Lipitor accounts for almost a third of Pfizer’s revenue and more than 40 per cent of its profit.
There are already some signs that companies are realising that a new approach to corporate dealmaking is needed, if the dearth of new big-money drugs is to be plugged.
“Big Pharma is looking more honestly at its product pipelines,” says John Studzinski, head of M&A at Blackstone. “[They are seeing] many distinct financial characteristics and considering ways to finance and monetise these on the micro level.
“On the macro level, top-line growth is flat and is putting more pressure on companies to once again reassess merger and consolidation strategies,” he adds.
Several large companies have chosen to focus on acquiring biotech companies as a way of counteracting profit erosion.
This was the strategy AstraZeneca decided to pursue when it spent $15bn of its war chest acquiring Medimmune, the US biotech company to help develop new products.
But biotech deals have proved to be very dilutive for the acquirers and forced Big Pharma to look at diversifying into specialty disease sectors, medical devices and drug technologies.
Novartis, for example, has been focusing on the oncology market, while Johnson & Johnson has built a presence in medical devices, including coronary stents that keep clogged arteries open, while Roche acquired Piramed, the UK-based biotech firm for $160m, to strengthen its oncology and arthritis pipelines.
Others have chosen to build their presence in the more resilient consumer healthcare areas.
Last month, Novartis spent $39bn to acquire 77 per cent of Alcon, a US eyecare business, from Nestlé.
“GlaxoSmithKline and Novartis have been good examples of companies that have preserved their consumer business realising that it is a very good route to diversification in difficult times when pipelines are struggling,” Mr de Rosnay.
Companies have also gradually acknowleged that radical changes in research and development divisions are also needed if Big Pharma is to reinvent itself.
“Management have finally realised that having larger R&D functions does not mean bigger drug pipelines,” Mr de Rosnay said. “But it will take a brave chief executive to stand up to the market and say this must change,” he added.
So.... YOU are that new market. If they can't corner the "sick" market any more, they will corner the "healthy" market.
Pfizer and the other companies are getting into vaccines for everything, and especially for those who rarely get jabbed - YOU adults.
YOU are vaccine deficient.
YOU might die tomorrow.
Remember that when you see all the hard sell advertisements for all their new vaccines for adults on TV, radio and in newspapers and magazines.
Remember that far MORE than your supposed "need" for their product, they desperately need you to have every single one of their new vaccines in order for all the many pharmaceutical companies to survive, to keep their shareholders in a life of luxury (Bill Gates is one of them), and their highly paid staff in jobs.
That - is the bottom line.
Right, ready to roll up your sleeves at least once a year from now? ... starting with the flu vaccines.
Remember, you might die if you don’t.
(How was it you survived until today? Coincidence! Just like those vaccine reactions they say don't happen.)