Barclays Global Healthcare Conference
18 August 2021 - 10:01 pm
Yes, it is a thing. Barclays Bank, what do they have to do with “healthcare” you may ask? Well the short answer is very little, but then you might wonder why such a thing as a “Barclays Global Healthcare Conference” exists.
For those who do or are beginning to understand how this all works, it will not come as a surprise that big multinational finance and banking would be involved directly with one of the largest money-making schemes that exists, that which labels itself as “healthcare” but is better known as Big Pharma.
Big Pharma, that’s conspiracy theory talk though right? They obviously just want to save us all, make our lives better and the world a better place, right? Why else would they currently be re-branding themselves as “Life Sciences” companies?
In case you weren’t aware of this rebranding, a website published an article in September 2019 titled “20 of the world’s top life sciences companies are thriving in Ireland” where (as the title suggests) they list 20 of the world’s “life science” companies. That list contains the following companies:
- Johnson & Johnson
- Eli Lilly
- Gilead Sciences
- Bristol-Myers Squibb
- Abbott Laboratories
- Novo Nordisk
- Merck Sharp & Dohme
Yes, most of those are well known international pharmaceutical companies. The lesser well known ones are also pharmaceutical companies that are just a bit less prominent in the “life sciences” market for one reason or another, or are new names as a result of mergers/takeovers and new company names.
Many of those companies are on another list. Wikipedia has a page titled “List of largest pharmaceutical settlements”, that has the top 20 largest settlements reached between the United States Department of Justice and pharmaceutical companies from 1991 to 2012. So not a complete list by any means. That list looks like this:
|Company Name||Fine Amount||Violation|
|GlaxoSmithKline||$3 billion ($1B criminal, $2B civil)||Criminal: Off-label promotion, failure to disclose safety data.|
Civil: paying kickbacks to physicians, making false and misleading statements concerning the safety of Avandia, reporting false best prices and underpaying rebates owed under the Medicaid Drug Rebate Program
|Pfizer||$2.3 billion||Off-label promotion, kickbacks|
|Johnson & Johnson||$2.2 billion||Off-label promotion, kickbacks|
|Abbott Laboratories||$1.5 billion||Off-label promotion|
|Eli Lilly||$875 million||Medicare fraud, kickbacks|
|Amgen||$762 million||Off-label promotion, kickbacks|
|GlaxoSmithKline||$750 million||Poor manufacturing practices|
|Serono||$704 million||Off-label promotion, kickbacks, monopolistic practices|
|Merck||$650 million||Medicare fraud, kickbacks|
|Purdue Pharma||$601 million||Off-label promotion|
|Allergan||$600 million||Off-label promotion|
|AstraZeneca||$520 million||Off-label promotion, kickbacks|
|Bristol-Myers Squibb||$515 million||Off-label promotion, kickbacks, Medicare fraud|
|Schering-Plough||$500 million||Poor manufacturing practices|
|Mylan||$465 million||Misclassification under the Medicaid Drug Rebate Program|
|Schering-Plough||$435 million||Off-label promotion, kickbacks, Medicare fraud|
|Pfizer||$430 million||Off-label promotion|
|Cephalon||$425 million||Off-label promotion|
|Novartis||$355 million||Medicare fraud|
|Schering-Plough||$345 million||Medicare fraud, kickbacks|
Off-label promotion is the marketing (and subsequently selling) of pharmaceutical drugs for unapproved reasons or to unapproved age groups, or in unapproved dosage amounts or administration methods. Kickbacks are form of negotiated bribery where commission is paid to the bribe-taker in exchange for services rendered. Medicare fraud which is obviously specific to the US is claiming money from the US Medicare/Medicaid system illegitimately.
In the space of 2 decades, in the US alone these “life sciences” companies (some of them repeat offenders) were collectively fined $17,932,000,000 (that’s almost 18 billion dollars) and that’s just the stuff they got caught doing.
But “life sciences” though. They’re all about “Healing and feeding the world” according to the sales blurb from the Cambridge Science Park website.
The UK Government has a section on it’s website called “Great”. This is apparently the UK Government selling it’s wares internationally. By “selling it’s wares” I mean selling other people’s wares of course, as the Government doesn’t produce anything but misery. This is the State’s shop window to the world, and they have a section called “Healthcare and life sciences” in case you thought the term meant something actually positive and beneficial to humanity. What they are selling is you and me. They are selling access to the “globally unique health and life sciences ecosystem” as they describe it. They are offering “a national research and evidence gathering platform with unique data and clinical insights in our National Health Service (NHS)” and that means you and me are in amongst all that “unique data and clinical insights” the Government we pay for are inviting international corporate vultures like Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson and the other criminal “life sciences” companies that are on that list above that have been fined billions.
If you can have a company that can absorb getting fined hundreds of millions or even billions and not just carry on in business but flourish, buying up other companies and so on, it is clear just how profitable this line of work is. It is that profitability that attracts the likes of Bill Gates to “global healthcare” and also is like a magnet pulling international finance and banks in to the “healthcare” markets.
This leads us to the title of this article and the Barclays Global Healthcare Conference. This regular meetup was held last in March 2021, and the transcript of a conference call on day three is available online (mirror). In this call were Charles E. Triano, the Senior Vice President of Investor Relations from Pfizer, Frank A. D’Amelio the Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President of Global Supply from Pfizer and Carter Lewis Gould who is a Senior Biopharma Analyst at Barclays Bank.
These wonderful people have a conversation about what a good year Pfizer had in 2020…
So from my perspective, in 2020, we had a really solid performance year from an operating perspective. Revenues were up operationally, excluding Consumer for the full year by 8%, and for the fourth quarter, they’re up 11%. We generated almost $42 billion in revenue for the innovative part of our company, less Upjohn. And we generated almost $14.5 billion in operating cash flow. So very solid performance in 2020.Frank A. D’Amelio – Pfizer Inc. – CFO & Executive VP of Global Supply – https://s21.q4cdn.com/317678438/files/doc_downloads/Transcripts/PFE-USQ_Transcript_2021-03-11.pdf
Upjohn was a Pfizer owned pharmaceutical company that ended up merging with Mylan (another pharma company) to form Viatris. This merger was completed in November 2020. Frank continues with the matter of 2021…
In terms of the guidance that we provided for 2021, if you look at our overall guidance, including COVID, the $15 billion in COVID revenues, revenues are growing operationally 41%. EPS is growing operationally 38%. If you remove the COVID revenues and the COVID P&L from our overall numbers, and you go to just, I’ll call it, our business without COVID, the top line next year is growing operationally 6%. EPS — adjusted diluted EPS is growing 11%. So from my perspective, we’ve got a nice operational rhythm going relative to the operational performance of the business.
So it would appear that the difference between Pfizer’s “business without COVID” and their business with COVID is 36% operational revenue growth. Nice.
In the Q&A section Carter Gould from Barclays mentions in the introduction that he’d heard that Pfizer’s CEO “was making comments this morning, I think, on addressing some of the adolescent population”. This of course doesn’t mean that Pfizer’s CEO is going to actually speak to the world’s population of adolescents, he means how they (Pfizer) are going to tackle getting their “vaccine” into them regardless of whether it is necessary or wanted. Fast forward from March to now and the Australian Government has obviously been given their instructions on “addressing” the adolescent population by getting them “ushered” into a stadium without their parents to be frightened and blackmailed into taking it, voluntarily of course.
Frank then weighs in on the Q&A saying “So we’ve been making really good progress in terms of stability testing and manufacturing efficiency” and then launches into his spiel about how many doses they’ve been able to make and so on. Unsurprisingly absent from all this is anything about safety or efficacy, because it’s just not even a consideration. Frank then says…
We’re in discussions with various governments. And so the intent would be for us on our earnings calls to continue to provide updates on our COVID revenues and then what that does to our overall financial guidance.
Carter from the bank then enquires about “the longer-term business model”. He askes…
…on the last earnings call, was around the longer-term business model here as we move from a pandemic to an endemic phase. Clearly got a lot of focus on the street. And in particular, some of your comments around the potential for higher pricing. I think one of the things that people point to is both the optics of that as well as some of their experience with the flu market. Now this is absolutely different. But I was hoping you could maybe give us a little bit more depth on your thoughts here and around the potential to pursue higher pricing down the road?
The enthusiasm for “higher pricing down the road” moderated slightly by the awareness of “the optics” i.e. how this is going to look is what is being enquired about, hoping Pfizer’s big money guys will be able to transfer their experience with “the flu market” to the COVID market. Going from “a pandemic to an endemic phase“ was always part of the long-term financial jackpot.
Frank responds with a remark about “the durability of the franchise” and says…
So in terms of, I’ll call it, the business going forward, although we’re not certain, based on everything we’ve seen to date, we believe it’s becoming increasingly likely that an annual revaccination is going to take place. And we believe that, that’s going to take place for the foreseeable future, most likely a single dose, but that’s what we see based on what we’ve seen to date. And not as — so we don’t see this as a onetime event, but we see this as something that’s going to continue for the foreseeable future.
Of course it wasn’t going to be a “onetime event”. The “franchise” was always going to be “durable” and the “annual revaccination” is one of the most predictable things you could imagine. Regarding the higher pricing query from the Barclays Bank representative, Frank confirms that “we think as this shifts from pandemic to endemic, we think there’s an opportunity here for us” which is another totally unsurprising statement.
Charles, the Investor Relations guy from Pfizer then goes on to talk about how “mRNA has been validated. So I think this really opens the door for us to really look at other potential applications of mRNA”. That mRNA has been “validated” seems to simply be that the public has bought into the sales pitch and now it is worth Pfizer seeing if they can find other ways of selling it. This doesn’t sound like the phrasing of someone who actually believes that mRNA works. These are not the words from a representative of a company that has made a genuine medically beneficial breakthrough and believes that it will help people. If you believed your product truly helped people, backed by scientific evidence from unbiased trials you wouldn’t wait until you’d been able to flog it to the world via Government propaganda and stolen public money to “really look at other potential applications”. This is one of the most revealing aspects of this meeting.
Carter the banker then says…
We can debate the magnitude and the durability of the revenues that are coming in from COVID, but they’re there. They’re sizable
Carter is clearly having trouble containing his excitement here, but this is more revealing language. The phrase “revenues from COVID” tells you way more that Carter is literally saying with just those words.
Frank then says how he’s going to “run some numbers” and blathers on about how many billions they’re making and then goes on to talk about “biz dev”. He discusses “tuck-in deals” and how great they are. He explains a “tuck-in deal” is a company they buy that fits in well with stuff they are already doing and makes them a lot of money. This is “biz dev” apparently. Buying up other companies and making more money. How very “life science”.
Frank continues eulogising about the future “where there’s up to potentially 25 launches by 2025 with 9 potential blockbusters”, mostly vaccines of one kind or another.
After some talk of “study data being discussed with the FDA”, Carter enquires about “another key growth driver” which is Vyndaqel.
Vyndaqel is the brand name for Tafamidis, and Wikipedia describes it as a “medication used to delay disease progression in adults with certain forms of transthyretin amyloidosis (ATTR)” which is considered quite a rare condition. The approval of Vyndaqel has met with some issues, as it seems the trials didn’t demonstrate efficacy for what it claims to do, which is to delay the peripheral nerve impairment in adults with transthyretin-related hereditary amyloidosis. Because this is all such precise science, the EU approved it back in 2011, Japan approved it in 2013 and the FDA in the US rejected it in 2012 and eventually approved it in 2019.
The disease this is alleged to “delay” is also known as Familial Amyloid Polyneuropathy (FAP). As this is hereditary and not contagious a good question from Carter at Barclays might be along the lines of how prevalent is this disease, given that Frank and Chuck at Pfizer seem to think it’s going to be a big winner for them? Looking at the Epidemiology section on Wikipedia about FAP it says that it is “endemic” in areas of Portugal, with “more than 1000 affected people, coming from about 500 families”. It mentions that the “mutated gene” that is alleged to cause FAP is in other areas of the world, 1.5% of the Swedish population according to the Wikipedia author. One could presume the 1,000 affected people in Portugal represent the largest supposedly confirmed cohort that Pfizer would have as their target market, seeing is it is mentioned first and with greater specification. 1,000 people doesn’t sound like a big market though, considering how much money Pfizer make and how much they’d have to sell Vyndaqel for to those 1,000 people to make enough money for Frank and Chuck to think this is another jackpot in the making.
Well the confusion over this is cleared up by Frank…
So VYNDAQEL, let me — I’m going to answer this with a lot of numbers and then a little bit without numbers. So VYNDAQEL last year, the $1.3 billion of revenue was up 170%, just in terms of — to punctuate the point that it’s been a really strong growth driver. So let me run some numbers on VYNDAQEL.
So before we launched VYNDAQEL, the diagnosis rate was 2%. At the end of last year, the diagnosis rate was 21%. At the end of last year, more than 20,500 patients have been diagnosed; more than 14,500 patients have received a prescription; and more the 8,500 patients have received the drug, some of whom received the drug at no cost because of our patient-assistance programs.
Now based on benchmarking, we think we can get the diagnosis rate into a range of 30% to 50%. And we actually think it can get into the higher end of that range. Why do we think it can get into the higher end of that range? Broad awareness and education programs with our health care physicians, the appropriate use of noninvasive diagnostic procedures and then artificial intelligence and machine learning tools that we at Pfizer are developing to help support patient identification.
And then you mentioned outside the U.S. Some of the markets where we’re really strong last year, places like Germany, places like Japan, where we have a strong referral network. So when you put all of that together, VYNDAQEL has been a really strong growth driver for the company. We expect it to continue to be a very strong growth driver for the company.
$1.3 billion in revenue, up 170%? How is this possible with such a rare hereditary and therefore non-contagious disease? The trick here is in getting the diagnosis rate up. As Frank explains before they launched Vyndaqel the diagnosis rate was 2%. That would have been 2019 as he’s referring to the US. By the end of 2020 that was up to 21% and he thinks they can get the diagnosis rate up to close to 50%. And how are they going to achieve that? With “broad awareness and education programs with our health care physicians, the appropriate use of noninvasive diagnostic procedures and then artificial intelligence and machine learning tools that we at Pfizer are developing to help support patient identification”.
Yes, Pfizer is going to educate the medical profession with their own “programs” and “heath care physicians” plus tests and tools that Pfizer are developing. Pfizer have bought in a drug, and are now creating the means to diagnose as many people as possible, to then get the wider medical community to engineer the expanding market for this drug, that has questionable efficacy at best.
Pfizer is not the only “life science” company pulling this trick, but it is so successful as has been demonstrated by the COVID fraud, that along with all the other frauds these companies are provably guilty of, they will just keep doing it as they, with the aid of Governments and media have created the illusion for many people that “life science” companies really are just “healing and feeding the world”, it’s not about money they just want to make us all live forever in a wonderful world of injections and genetic fumbling.
Who in their right mind would EVER trust these companies, and the Governments and media that evangelise on their behalf? The answer is no-one, but so many people do it would seem.