Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Not Much New -- From CEO Ken Frazier, At The JP Morgan Confab

It was largely a rehash of all the same old Powerpoint slides -- save one (click to enlarge):

From his transcribed remarks (a PDF file), on this slide, then:

. . . .We've significantly decreased our field force in the US and in the European Union while, at the same time, rethinking what our sales representatives need to be doing for their customers.

At the same time, as you can see from this chart, we have sharply increased our investments in the emerging markets, especially in China where we've increased the size of our sales force 60% over the past few years. . . .
While the above looks backward, it certainly confirms what so many ex-Merckies felt most acutely, at Christmas this year: Merck was the "job cutting-est" major pharma, in 2011. This (touting the "savings" from job-cuts), coupled with this morning's off-the-cuff suggestion of looking to "buy" Hep C franchise leadership, could be some significant cause for concern.

As a general rule, very large multinational pharma concerns can neither "buy", nor "save" their way to long-term, sustainable greatness. No. . . they must invent it.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

At last Condor, at last. The Occupy Wall Street masses are still missing the point you have finally arrived at. Wall Street does not reward cost-cutting behavior, they tolerate it. Merck, and other companies, would see their stock prices soar if they were innovative - THAT is what Wall Street rewards. And, as the saying goes, "A rising tide lifts all boats".

The 'neutral' ratings will continue to pour in while Merck clings to their hubris in the idea of buying their way to Hep C superiority. Without a time machine I can predict with a good amount of certainty this will mean that they overpay for a candidate that doesn't pan out. History often repeats itself around those parts.