The next to the last paragraph in this interesting article reads as such: "Pfizer's depressed share price however reflects investor doubts whether the company can indeed finally revive its research labs, which faltered badly after its earlier mega-mergers over the past decade with U.S. rivals Warner-Lamber and Pharmacia". This is precisely the problem. Too many Torecetrapid and Exubera megaflops and not nearly enough new drug successes. This is why there is so little investor confidence in PFE which is reflected in its low PE. The very poor drug development record has been the crux of PFE's problem for at least the last 10 years and it will continue to be so until the company can prove to investors that it has a viable R&D department that deserves funding at the tune of 9 billion dollars a year. So far PFE R&D has been a miserable flop with very little to show for the fortune that the company has invested in the development of new drugs.
This is precisely the problem. Too many Torecetrapid and Exubera megaflops
The reason why this incredible buying opportunity in Pfizer exists is because of ridiculous analysts that lump things together that have no business being so lumped.
Torcetrapib came this close to making it but nevertheless was a legitimate failure in the lab.
But Exubera was a horse of an entirely different color. That R & D DID result in a successfully-approved product both here and abroad. Moreover, the Pfizer product scooped that of even diatetics product industry leader NVO as well as LLY.
Esubera is about the only product I have EVER heard of that was duly approved and really had few legitimate safety problems that was nevertheless pulled from shelves after just a year because of failure to sell.
What other product has there ever been that is similar to that? You certainly have to ask exactly WHY the product didn't generate more revenues.
WHY was a market leader like NVO interested in developing an inhaled insulin product? Why was LLY? Did ALL of those companies misread the market for inhaled insulin? Why did those other companies discontinue development on their own products within weeks of Pfizer yanking Exubera?
Exubera had NOTHING to do with failure in the lab - it had everything to do with just terrible LUCK. The terrible luck of a new head of the American Diabetes Assn. essentially playing God and deciding that none of his people would be able to use inhaled insulin because HE didn't particularly like it that the product caused about a 3% lung impairment on balance in non-smokers.
So because HE didn't like that, he provided all the cover that the insurers needed to refuse reimbursement. These insurers were none too crazy about having to reimburse for a product about three times as costly as injected insulin. But without this ADA HEAD running interference for them, they would have had little choice. I'm sure the insurers don't particularly like reimbursing for costly one-a-day Wellbutrin XL as opposed to twice-a-day generic Wellbutrin but the fact is that the insurers DEO regularly reimburse for once-a-day Wellbutrin XL.
And they would have reimbursed for Exubera also had only this misguided ADAE head not come along exactly when he did.
And of course if Exubera was the $2B or so mega-blockbuster that it was expected to be, there wouldn't be anywhere near as much talk about Pfifer's pipeline failures.
Consider Pfizer's low price to be almost a gift to prospective buyers from that ADA chief. And of course the propensity of stupid analysts to lump something like Exubera in with Torcetrapib.