Public perception caused the FDA and Congress to want more regulations, ... It's under tremendous pressure for letting the advertising get out of hand.
What's missing is the elephant in the room: all the freebies, the wining and dining, the virtual bribing of doctors.
The problem isn't with the FDA not approving drugs fast enough; it's that the drug industry isn't coming up with enough new drugs.
The law was passed to try and spur the companies to make drugs they wouldn't make because there just wasn't enough interest.
[Merck] has a lot of nice vaccines in the works, but none of them are blockbusters, ... [Merck] has to come down from the mountain and realize it can't do everything by itself. It needs joint ventures.
Each reviewer's salary is $100,000 at a rough estimate, so it could pay for a lot of reviewers. That's the biggest problem, the lack of people, and that's what creates the biggest time pressures.
It will never be the old Merck because it will never be the biggest drug company in the world. If it doesn't pull itself together in time, I think it will be a merger.