Commentary: BioSpace Readers Sound Off On Big Pharma Takeovers

Published: Jun 12, 2014

June 4, 2014
By Linda R. Bernstein, Pharm.D., Exclusive Story

Today’s hot topic is the recent rash of attempted takeovers in the pharmaceutical industry. As you will note by the comments included below, that there are a lot of unhappy folks who would rather there just be harmony, rather than hostility in the air.

(Comments have been edited for length and clarity. The identity of our commenters have been removed to preserve anonymity.)

Crisis in the boardroom

Valeant Pharmaceuticals on June 2 readied to take its $53.8 billion takeover bid for Allergan Inc. directly to shareholders. Allergan wants its shareholders to hold off on any decision until its board has a chance to evaluate the offer and provide a recommendation. Valeant ally Pershing Square, a hedge fund that owns 9.7 percent of Allergan, called for a meeting to replace the company's board that could take place as early as Aug. 7, or if Allergan gets its way, it could be delayed to November. Some believe that a delay in the meeting could benefit Valeant to allow for an increase in their stock price, and hence increase the attractiveness of the offer to help seal the deal.

CNBC exclusive video: One-on-one with Valeant CEO
Watch CNBC's exclusive video: One-on-one with Valeant CEO

Sound off

Here is a compilation of some rather heated comments on the potential takeover of Allergan by Valeant.

Commenter 1: Wish they'd back off— they don't care about R&D or what is best for the patients.

Commenter 2: I would hope big time investors see Valeant for what they are...a shell company for a "CEO" who's trying to profit as much as he can before his debt ridden bubble bursts and a hedge fund manager who operates on the fringe of the law whose ONLY goal is to enrich himself and not Allergan or even Valeant shareholders. Ackman has done a terrible job with other companies he's tried to run in the past, in fact his track record is sub-par; this situation would be no different. The facts are overwhelming on the side of Allergan. Let's hope the major shareholders of Allergan realize this and don't go for the quick buck or fall for Ackman's tricks and take a ton of crummy Valeant stock.

Commenter 3: Where is the thumb down button when you need it?! Patients all over the world will be negatively impacted if this goes through...

Commenter 4: Ackman and Pearson's egos...that's all it is and what they care about.

Commenter 5: Would be a huge mistake and a sad day for the medical aesthetic industry! Stay strong Allergan!

Commenter 6: Don't do it Allergan! You’re too good for them!

Commenter 7: There aren't many people who have good things to say about Valeant and their approach in the industry— including their own employees and customers. The rich get richer, and thousands of people lose their jobs. It's truly sad.

Commenter 8: Go Team Allergan. We are proud to be part of such a great company who care[s] about their patients and employees.

Commenter 9: It will literally be a crying shame to see the dermatology space (let alone the other specialty areas) take yet another hit from a company that places profit and cost-cutting over patient care, innovation for the future, and investment in the practices that treat us all.

Commenter 10: Go #TeamAllergan I hope and wish Ackman and Pearson don't succeed. If they do, it will be truly a very sad day for all Allergan's partners (employees, stockholders—but above all—patients and customers).

Pfizer walks away from AstraZeneca takeover

Pfizer may not give up on AstraZeneca

Pfizer recently withdrew its £55 a share, £69bn takeover attempt for British pharmaceutical firm AstraZeneca . No one is ruling out another takeover bid by Pfizer in the near future, perhaps before the end of the year. Despite the current holding pattern, opinions about the potential for a Pfizer/AstraZenaca merger are still smoldering.

Here is a sampling of what fellow BioSpacers thought about the Pfizer and AstraZeneca saga.

    Commenter 1: I don't think that any of us are misguided by the media view point. The facts speak for themselves, Pfizer has no pipeline to shout about. They've taken over other pharma companies, laid people off and just stripped the company they just bought. The CEO of Pfizer says a lot, without actually saying anything. Bunch of gangsters and bullies!!!

    Commenter 2: It doesn't matter what any of us think, do or say. Bottom line is: Can the board of directors convince the institutional investors (ie. mutual fund managers) to walk away from $92.50 per share and keep their fingers crossed that AZ will be able to get that kind on ROI on their own?

    Commenter 3: Nothing good can come from a merger like this. It is only being done so Pfizer can do a "tax domicile inversion" to avoid paying U.S. corporate taxes. Pathetic...

    Commenter 4: AZ does not need Pfizer. Pfizer has a weak pipeline and needs AZ!

    Commenter 5: AZ has the backing of UK and Swedish governments against the takeover.

    Commenter 6: Go away Pfizer!

    Commenter 7: Another one bites the dust...

    Commenter 8: If you think Pfizer is walking away, then you don't know your history.

    Commenter 9: If Pfizer goes away then so may your life sustaining technologies, research and medicines. Duh

    Commenter 10: On behalf of all past "Pfizer Ann Arbor" employees, good luck AZ!

    Commenter 11: I've had enough!

    Commenter 12: Pfizer has acquired and dismantled three really great companies in Warner Lambert, Pharmacia and Wyeth eliminating over 100,000 jobs, keeping the products that their effective R&D groups had developed, to provide Pfizer new revenue sources that their own R&D group had been unsuccessful in doing. I am happy that the AZ CEO has told them so far to stick it.

    Commenter 13: Just say no.

    Commenter 14: No Pfizer. AZ is best left on our own!

    Commenter 15: AZ does not need Pfizer...Pfizer needs AZ. Let's hope they don't succeed. They will sell off AZ and five years from now no one will remember or recognize AZ.

    Commenter 16: The facts are Pfizer strips assets. [It has] no interest in UK pharma & will make most UK employees redundant. Not sure if we need many other "facts."

    Commenter 17: Never gonna happen...UK will not allow it.

    Commenter 18: Enough pls!

What’s your opinion? Let us know so we can share it with fellow BioSpacers.

Back to news