It took eight years, a failed hostile takeover, and a sweeping scientific turnaround for AstraZeneca CEO Pascal Soriot to become one of the drug industry’s leading lights. Now, after 11 bumbling months of Covid-19 vaccine development, the French-born executive finds himself at the center of a multinational credibility crisis, moving from scandal to scandal as his rivals bask in global acclaim.
What’s become clear is that AstraZeneca has failed at exactly what is supposed to be its core competency: conducting research to develop new medicines and to prove that those medicines are safe and effective. On Monday night, the Anglo-Swedish drug giant stumbled into a public clash with the National Institutes of Health — with none other than Anthony Fauci, the NIH infectious disease expert who has come to be seen as America’s doctor, accusing the company in STAT and on “Good Morning America” of an “unforced error.”
This is what happens when press releases substitute for hard analyses of real data.
Management of share price by press release is not new.
AstraZeneca plc is a British-Swedish multinational pharmaceutical and biotechnology company.
It is not precise stating that “the U.S. study, the one being revealed and fought over now, was delayed for seven weeks as researchers investigated a neurological condition that cropped up in a patient and was eventually determined unrelated to the vaccine”. AstraZeneca stated – as reported in Stat in October 2020 – that there were no evidence the condition was related.
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