“THE IMPOSSIBLE can many times become possible,” reflects Albert Bourla, boss of Pfizer. He is talking about the giant American drugmaker’s speedy development (with BioNTech of Germany) of a vaccine against covid-19. The sentiment also applies to the turnaround in the fortunes of the pharmaceutical industry.
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Before the pandemic Big Pharma was in big trouble. It was widely criticised for investing more in marketing than in research, for pursuing “me too” drugs over novel therapies, and for alleged price-gouging. When Gallup, a pollster, asked Americans in 2019 to rank two dozen big industries by favourability, the
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