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Of Football, Pfizer and Pharma

Friday, 22 Aug 2008 | 11:31 AM ET

As we head into my last free summer weekend before USC's football season kicks off, I wanted to clean out the Pharma's Market mailbox. (Actually I was looking for an apropos-of-nothing excuse to mention the Trojans.)

Anyway, I got a couple of emails from Dendreonians upset that DNDN appeared in the "Companies" header on one of my entries that made no mention of Dendreon. It is not an attempt to inflate my pageviews. The webbies tell me it's some kind of "default" issues in the system, but that it should be fixed. Dendreon should rightly appear in the "Companies" line of this post, however.

My entry about ImClone Systems playing games with Bristol-Myers Squibb by putting out a press release announcing the first patient in a clinical trial had gone on drug elicited this criticism from an unidentified reader: "You're slipping. ImClone's press release...is now considered standard practice by the pharma industry. What industry to you follow anyway?"

Regarding my reporting on the new FDA "warning" about pancreatitis in a handful of patients taking the diabetes drug Byetta from Amylin Pharmaceuticals and Eli Lilly, Ijaz Jamall, Principal Scientist at Risk-Based Decisions, Inc., writes: "A rather simple analysis shows that these cases could not be a direct consequence of the patients on Byetta." He then goes into that "rather simple" analysis which is too complex to detail here.

My post about Pfizerbriefly breaking the $20 level and seeking "logical" explanations from readers for why PFE struggles to get above that price drew a few responses fitting the criterion.

Shiv Kapoor detailed what he sees as Pfizer's four main problems: science, marketing, financial and management. And although he believes, "Patience and a (high dividend) yield make it worth the risk and the wait," he concludes the stock is rangebound between $14 and $25 because "Until (the) science delivers there is no great catalyst."

And John Clark sent in this quick analysis via his iPhone: "If you subtract Lipitor with their current expense structure you get a poor return on the bottom line. They cannot buy their way out or expect that the pipeline will produce enough!"

But one regular, anonymous and angry reader says I need to give it a rest. "When will you just stop it with PFIZER!!!" (The caps and punctuation is his/hers.)

Sorry, but I won't stop reporting and blogging about Pfizer. It's the world's biggest drug company, it continues to trade around multi-year lows and it's facing the mother of all patent expirations when Lipitor goes generic in a few years.

Pfight On! Beat the Cavaliers!

Questions? Comments? Pharma@cnbc.com

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