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Drug Downers

Elvis Presley
AP
Elvis Presley

Thirty years ago, I was in Las Vegas. My stepmother took me to see Ann-Margret at The Hilton and I remember our waitress telling us that Elvis was the only one who could consistently pack the room. It was strange that he passed away the next day. On this, the 30th anniversary of the King's death from overdose on prescription drugs, the stocks of the companies that make prescription meds are having a very dark day.

Yes, the market is tanking. But I just wanted to point out that some in big pharma are feeling the pain more than others.

A few of them are at new intra-day lows including Novartis, Sanofi-Aventis and Pfizer . PFE is trading at 23-bucks and change and if it closes today below $23.50 it would be the first time to finish at that level in about 13 months.

The world's biggest drug company has boosted its dividend, increased its stock buyback program, done more aggressive cost cuts and has recently touted the promise of its burgeoning mid-to-late-stage drug development pipeline. But clearly none of it is helping the all-important stock price. The company has a lot of cash.

Many months ago -- before the anemia drug controversy and the precipitous drop in the Amgen stock price -- one analyst suggested PFE could buy or merge with Amgen.



Questions? Comments? Pharma@cnbc.com

Symbol
Price
 
Change
%Change
AMGN
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NOVN
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PFE
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SNI
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