I am eagerly looking forward to the opportunity to hear Dr. Albert Bourla give a grand keynote on Day 2 at #TiEcon2022, an entirely virtual conference, starting tomorrow.
As Chairman and CEO, since 2019, Dr. Bourla has led Pfizer through one of its greatest challenges when the world was looking to scientists and pharmaceutical companies for answers to the sudden calamity represented by covid. In a rare mode of cooperation and unprecedented speed, scientists began furiously working for a vaccine. However, their work was also proceeding against a backdrop of political drama that was unfolding in the USA.
Very likely scientists and leaders of pharmaceutical companies had no interest in maneuvering the political minefield and yet it became unavoidable when Mr. Trump predicted a breakthrough vaccine before Election Day. News of Pfizer’s success however, only arrived right AFTER the election was called for Joseph Biden. The story of Pfizer and its research partner, the German firm BioNTech, both of who declined the money from the federal effort, “Operation Warp Speed” and Moderna who accepted the money from the Government that was led by science denying President Mr. Trump, unfolded against the backdrop of politics, science, and incredible high stakes for humankind. The resulting accomplishments by these companies and others are as fascinating as they are impressive. Bourla was awarded the 2022 Genesis Prize for his leadership in the development of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid 19 vaccine.
During his 25+ years at Pfizer, Bourla has emphasized his commitment to help ensure equitable healthcare access to medicines and patients. However, Bourla also opposes government interference in pharmaceutical pricing, which he has argued would hamper spending on development of new drugs. As per a recent RAND Corporation report, US prescription drug prices are higher than in most other countries. The Biden Administration released a plan to decrease prescription drug costs covered by the Medicare program, and later dropped the initiatives, after objections from some key Democrats. Bourla has observed that drug prices are in fact going down and more importantly, drug prices are only a small portion of the overall US healthcare spending.
It will be fascinating to hear Mr. Bourla speak on these and other health and healthcare related issues at TieCon2022. During covid challenges, when many prayed as never before for the lives of their loved ones, world also realized that besides the divine, our next best hope for better life rests in the hands of #science.
Register ASAP for the #TiEcon2022 conference at @TiEcon www.tiecon.org for the largest #entrepreneurship conference.