Drug Company CEOs Under Pressure
News outlets feature profiles and opinions of the CEOs of some of the largest American drug manufacturers.
Dow Jones Newswires/The Wall Street Journal on Severin Schwan, chief executive of Swiss pharmaceutical company Roche Holding AG: "'It is difficult to gauge the impact of the planned U.S. healthcare reform on the pharmaceutical industry,' Schwan told reporters at a media conference to detail 2009 earnings. 'On the one hand, more U.S. citizens will be getting access to healthcare, which is positive. At the same time, pressure on drug prices will certainly increase,' he added." The wire service adds that he also said "decisions on generic biosimilars will be key" (Greil, 2/3).
The Seattle Times on GlaxoSmithKline PLC CEO Andrew Witty: "[He] has been remaking the company from a pure pharmaceutical business to a diverse healthcare conglomerate, a strategy most rivals now are pursuing. ... Like rivals, it is losing sales to generic competition and reducing staff in Western countries. Witty is pushing to sell more products in fast-growing 'emerging markets' such as Brazil, Russia, India and China. But Witty also is increasing efforts to bring medicines for tropical diseases to the poorest countries, at minimum profit" (Johnson, 2/2).
In a separate article, Dow Jones Newswires/The Wall Street Journal reports on a high and "generational" turnover among pharmaceutical CEOs. "The new leaders are taking over an industry under pressure. The past decade has brought heightened scrutiny of drug safety, government probes of sales and marketing practices, and greater pricing pressure from drug-benefit plans and generic competitors. Drug makers feel compelled to control costs and do more to get results from the billions of dollars they pour into their research labs" (Loftus, 2/2).