At 12 p.m. ET, shares of Pfizerwere trading about 13% lower - largely because the company halted development of torcetrapib--a new cholesterol treatment. The drug was supposed to fill the void when Lipitor--its best-selling drug--loses patent protection in 2010 (Lipitor sales totaled $12.2 B last year). In a First On CNBC-TV--Pfizer CEO Jeff Kindler (making his first appearance on CNBC-TV since becoming CEO) explained exactly what happened and what it means for his company’s future.
According to Kindler, Pfizer first learned of the health risks posed by torcetrapib on this past Saturday from an independent monitoring board. As soon as they found out, the executive team went into action immediately.