What is the true objective of a company? It is a question that we probably ask ourselves much less frequently than we should. Many take for granted that, if it is a private company, it is about obtaining benefits. If people have succeeded, it is because they have done what is necessary to provide a good product. Others will remember, however, that every company must have a social objective, that is, give a good or service or satisfy a need for citizenship. It is in this dilemma in which most companies are located; although there are more sensitive sectors than others.
An excellent example of this is the pharmacist, where the health of the global population is at stake and for that, it must encourage research. It is interesting to take a look at a recent radio program promoted by ‘ Business Insider ‘ that tries to portray the changes produced by the American company from the portrait of different sectors. The first of them is set in the pharmaceutical industry from Merck & Co., one of the US companies with the best reputation during his golden age and which was directed by George Merck.
Something similar should think Vagelos when in the late eighties decided to donate large amounts of a drug against blindness to treat the sick of Africa. It was a much-remembered gesture today, which cost the company a lot of money, so one of the member’s of the board reproached him in a meeting. “I told him I was going so fast that it never crossed my mind.”
The Formula of Success:
It may seem that due to the CEO’s behavior the company would have led the company to bankruptcy by consenting to unprofitable whims. The current research policies of pharmaceutical companies are very different from those of that time; it was pointed out in the debate. If the goal was to discover new medicines that could meet very different needs, currently the focus is on finding new applications for medicines that already exist. “It’s like milking a cow,” said Oner Tulum, a researcher at the University of Massachusetts. In addition, if in the past the large companies had their own research departments very strong, the current trend is to acquire patents or absorb drug research and development companies.
Not that Merck did not do the same in his day: the firm acquired mid-90 Medco, since, as Vagelos explained to ‘ Harvard Business Review ‘, saw “a tremendous opportunity to create a new model in the pharmaceutical industry that At the same time, improve the quality of public health, help contain costs and improve Merck’s market value. ” It can be seen as an antecedent of modern trends towards ‘ big data ‘ since Medco was a company that had information on 38 million patients, so the acquisition was intended to use this data to understand the operation of their medicines better.