Pfizer's new CEO outlines the future of healthcare
Pfizer must balance opportunities of aging population with restrictions of healthcare system, says CEO.
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Pfizer's newly-anointed chief executive Jeffrey Kindler told analysts that his company will balance the opportunities of an expanding market and an aging population, with the limits imposed by healthcare systems around the world.
Kindler, speaking at Bank of America's annual investment conference in San Francisco, said the drug industry is "tempered by payment systems around the world." Kindler said Pfizer (up $0.27 to $28.47, Charts) must "capture as much as the demand as possible" and "shape the way society pays for healthcare" by demonstrating the value of its products to restrictive healthcare systems, skeptical patients and overworked doctors.
As an example, Kindler said the cholesterol-cutting Lipitor, the world's top-selling drug with $12.2 billion in 2005 sales, should be promoted as a preventative medicine to demonstrate its true value.
"Would you rather spend a few dollars a week on Lipitor, or suffer the consequences of a heart attack or stroke?" said Kindler.
To promote the value of its drugs and to make sure that patients and physicians use them properly, Kindler said his company established an extensive physician training program for its new product Exubera, the world's first form of inhalable insulin for diabetics.
Also, the company has set up "craving hotlines" for patients taking the smoking cessation drug Chantix, to better ensure its success, said Kindler.
Based in New York, Pfizer is the biggest drug company in the world, with $51.3 billion in 2005 sales. Competitors include Merck (up $0.76 to $41.94, Charts), Bristol-Myers Squibb (up $0.18 to $24.89, Charts), Wyeth (up $0.34 to $50.89, Charts), Schering-Plough (up $0.04 to $21.48, Charts) and Johnson & Johnson (up $0.01 to $64.19, Charts).