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Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Pfizer Healthcare Hub. A cynical PR stunt or an innovative idea?

I once had the greatest respect for Pfizer and the way it has tried to embrace the demands and opportunities of population ageing.

Its latest venture is the London The Healthcare Hub that will enable start-up companies to  compete for a share of a grant of £56k and a year-long programme of support, helping them to navigate the UK’s health system, and giving them the opportunity to meet the people who can move their ideas and their businesses forward. The Pfizer Healthcare Hub: London is the latest in a global network of Pfizer innovation hubs, joining existing centres in New York, Berlin and Tel Aviv.

On the face of it this sound an interesting development but somehow I doubt if 'the share' of £56,000 is going to make much difference to most start-up companies.

I cannot help read about this venture and think that it is being done for reasons other than being a good corporate citizen. Let me explain.

In my eyes the company's image plummeted by its actions over the pricing of the anti-convulsant drug Phenytoin. The company was fined a record £84.2 million by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) for overcharging the NHS. The company is contesting the fine. You can read the details here. 

My interest in Pfizer's actions are both business (Pfizer is a major player in the Ageing Business) and personal (I am epileptic and take the drug that Pfizer increased the price of by 2600%) - Nope, that is not a typing mistake. I know, first hand, the distress this created for those taking the drug.

Maybe there has been a huge mistake by the UK's Competition and Markets Authority, but until, or unless, that is declared I would never consider working for the company. Dick Stroud




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