I can't agree with your conclusions. Because when you consider what White is responsible for, you've left out a few things...the Knoll acquisition a much improved pipeline including D2E7 (some from Wall Street say $3Billion potential), hiring Dr. Leiden, and a focus on science (i.e. investment in the future), a new cardiovascular platform (drug-coated stents, another investment for the future), MediSense & much improved benefits for employees. Seems he also had a number of problems to address like Hytrin going generic, Tap issues, lawsuits, etc., that he managed through. ON the FDA issues, well people within Abbott say he put the best Abbott people, the leading consultants and plenty of resource to upgrade manufacturing. I've read reports that say the plant is as good as any in the world -- so what's really going on here? Maybe Abbott's problem is an FDA that has lost sight of it fundamental mission.
I'm not sure any cures are on the horizon either. But a drug doesn't need to be a cure to be a blockbuster. A slightly better mouse trap is good enough. In my field (dermatology), there are a host of "breakthrough" drugs on the horizon for psoriasis, and we recently had the first new class of drugs for atopic dermatitis in 40 years introduced. Pretty exciting stuff. Each specialty is different (and mine is a very small one), but lots of drugs are being delayed, and that's hurting the company's bottom line (the patent clock keeps ticking) and the patient/consumer.
That was a great post. It brought to mind something else. The Miles bashers on the board want to run him out of town because he was in charge of ADD prior to the consent decree. What nobody mentions is that during this time, Burnham was looting the R&D budget and pinching pennies in order to buy back shares to keep a strong short term EPS growth rate. If Miles had gone to Burnham and asked for $50 million to fix the plants, who thinks he would have gotten it? This toying with the FDA was a Burnham/Hodgson mentality and it was entrenched throughout the company, as it was in a lot of companies. It is also interesting that a lot of the bashers are the people who are benefitting from the improved employee benefits that Miles brought to the company. Nobody told them to keep 100% of their 401K in ABT. As a matter of fact, even though the 401K company match is paid in ABT shares, employees can sell these shares the day after they are credited to their account and they can sell their other shares anytime they want.
This is a tough situation. Despite the setback, given a choice, I am glad Miles is there. Was beginning to think I was the only one on this board with that opinion. Now there are two of us.
Persh. Your point is well taken that if so much of the company's future growth rests on one drug, that's a bit dangerous. But you are also the one that always wants blockbusters. Building a future growth based on blockbusters is risky business, but potentially very rewarding.
My point has always been what made the pharmas great were the huge blockbusters that did truly make life better for millions. The low hanging fruit may have been picked. So break throughs, not on my radar at this time, will be needed to restore the great successes of the last generation.
The 401K, you can make exchanges between investmemts, but there is a 30 day between investments. So, if today, I put $5000 worth of stock into the cash fund, I would have to wait 30 days before I could move funds around again.
Tired of all these bashers, sure top dog always get the heat, but where were they when the stock was going up? Did they say good job when Knoll was purchased? Burnham had a finance background, everyone knows what bean counters do to make projections, they cut other things, that is the mentality of a bean counter. Back then you could probably get away with it, but times have changed, you can't do it these days. We all know this isn't a $30 some dollar stock. It should be higher. IMHO, too much panic selling, hey, he sold, I better sell, that's okay, for every seller there is a buyer, someone will be making lots of money on the rebound. Give it time.