I don't hear the mindless detractors talking about the pros today
An excerpt from your post: 'I don't care where those drugs initially came from' - Unfortunatley investors do care. It is possible that PFE can buy another successful drug such as Lipitor that they purchased from Warner-Lambert. Generally speaking however, it more expensive to buy drugs compared to developing them which PFE doesn't seem to be able to do. Buying drugs is okay once in a while. If it is done too often it cast serious doubts on the capability of the pharma's R&D staff. Perception or 'image' is everything when it comes to investing and this inability to internally develop new drugs represents a serious 'image' problem for investors. Also why should PFE fork out billions of dollars for buying a new drug when it already invests 8 billion dollars a year to its own R&D staff for developing new drugs. Even PFE doesn't have infinite funds to sink into new drug development. Investors are well aware of this shortcoming and, on the other hand, they have also been shown time and time again that MRK can sucessfully develop drugs from its own pipeline with a lower R&D budget than that of PFE. Therefore, in the minds of investors, MRK appears to be technically more savvy and efficient than PFE and therefore MRK is getting their investment dollars, not PFE, even in spite of the Vioxx issue. The ball is clearly in PFE's court to prove to investors that it too can successfully develop new drugs with that 8 billion dollar budget which they have not been able to do for a long time. Until that happens, PFE stock will continue to flounder and MRK stock will continue to go up. Plain and simple.