Archive for August 8th, 2009

Over the next several days, it is my hope to reflect on and process the material and notes I have. This first output is a response to one of the last sessions on Friday with Bono of U2.

If you didn’t know, Bono has become more and more famous for his Africa hunger/famine/AIDS outreach than for his being the lead singer for U2. While I haven’t always agreed with his methods or politics, I do admire his passion and drive. And you do have to give it to him — you don’t see many other rock stars hanging it out there beyond their narcisistic selves.

I was very impacted by the interview with Bono…..specifically, what we need to do about the world health and poverty crisis. And I have been moved by an idea. An idea way beyond me but an idea I feel needs to be acted upon none the less. This idea revolves around the medicines that have significant impact to the lives of impoverished people. Let me set the stage for you.

I currently work for one of the world’s largest biopharmaceutical companies. While we have a wonderful mission — serving patients — the company has slowly eroded into a corporation whose primary pursuit is the dollar and quarterly approval by Wall Street (quite a different place where the company was 12 years ago when I joined).

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Now don’t get me wrong – I understand all about capitalism and the pursuit of a dollar. What I do not support is the pursuit of a dollar at the expense of someone else. And I am seeing that more and more in today’s world — both on the business side and the politics side. I feel that sometimes the politicians are more self-absorbed power and dollar chasers than our capitalistic CEOs although quite often it is an even tie.
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In the sole pursuit of the dollar, the company has discarded with resources — specifically a biotechnology manufacturing facility site in Washington state. The question I asked my colleague who is also attending the summit was — “what if a team acquired the Washington site for the passionate manufacture of pharmaceuticals specifically for compassionate use — using some of those same experts that were let go last month?”.

The pieces are there — facility, people, knowledge. Add the faith, passion and leadership towards a mission Bono discussed in the interview and safe, efficacious drug product would be able to be provided for those without. I realize I may just be planting a seed, but right now I am a sower and tossing out the seeds. I am hoping that by posting this and discussing this with folks I know that a seed might be planted and germinate into an idea worth pursuing for a greater good. And it would be privately or self funded, not reliant on some government handout.

It sure also would infuse passion and mission back into people who have become jaded to the pharmaceutical borg mother ship.

I was just thinkin’…..

…..Dan at aslowerpace dot net