On Gaining Access To Drugs & To Pfizer's CEO


Before I go on vacation for a week I wanted to close the loop and offer some random thoughts on a few things.

A couple of them on the FDA's new rules to increase patient access to unapproved drugs. First, FDA Commish Dr. Peggy Hamburg, who used to be the health commissioner for multicultural New York City, seems to be putting her imprint on things by having the new information on the agency's website in English, Spanish and Chinese.

Second, regarding the provision to allow companies meeting certain criteria to possibly charge participants for the use of drugs in clinical trials, I'm not sure how that might actually work in practice. I mean, if you're a patient and volunteer and you're asked to pay some kind of fee, you'd want an assurance you're getting the drug and not the placebo, right? And within the strict confines of nearly all clinical trial protocols that isn't going to be possible. Or would they only send you a bill when the study is unblinded (when they find who got the drug and who didn't)? Just asking. But, as I pointed out in yesterday's post, Dr. Hamburg says this is a work in progress.

And finally, one more thing on Regis' rant about Pfizer on CNBC's "Fast Money." If you missed it, Philbin said, "I'm so sick and tired of hearing what a great pharmaceutical (company) it is. When is the stock gonna move?" I think PFE PR has a chance to spin this around. Chairman and CEO Jeff Kindler should have his people call Regis' people, so the two of them can do lunch. Kindler could kindly walk Regis through the company's soon-to-be expanded drug development pipeline and explain why he thinks the Wyeth deal could move PFE's stock and when. Then, on the down low Pfizer PR could drop a dime on me or maybe a photographer from the "New York Post's Page Six" gossip page so we could catch the two of them walking in or out of some "see-and-be-seen" restaurant in midtown Manhattan. It would show Kindler has a sense of humor and maybe, just maybe, get Reege off his back.

Questions? Comments? Pharma@cnbc.com and follow me on Twitter at mhuckman