Jeff Kindler, Chairman and CEO of Pfizer (PFE) joined me exclusively on Fox Business' Bulls and Bears show today to say his business is already being affected by the mortgage and subprime disaster and that Congress should pass the rescue plan being put forth by Henry Paulson and Ben Bernanke without delay. Kindler and I took the stage at Radio City Music Hallin NYC this afternoon to speak before the World Business Forum which Fox Business is co-sponsoring. The audience of 5,000 was riveted by his thoughts on the crisis, particularly when he talked about how this kind of financialnightmareactually causes people to skimp on, of all things, their own health care. (Unrelated, today the head of world's number-2 truck maker Volvo said the turmoil is already having a major impact in Europe).
Kindler talked extensively about the 2011 patent expiration of their blockbuster cholesterol drug Lipitor and how he believes Pfizer is ready with a whole host of new drugs in the pipeline, particularly in the cancer realm. We also got him to comment on Pfizer'sinhaled lung medicationSpiriva and how some researchers say it raises the risk of heart attack, stroke anddeath from heart disease.The short end of it is that Pfizer stands by the medication.
By the way, inside scoop: during one of the lighter moments when we were on stage, he even joked about Pfizer's super-star drug Viagra, saying, "I'm taking it!"
For a lawyer whose doctor-father wished his son had become a surgeon, Kindler jokes, "I told my dad, 'At least I'm selling medicine. Does that count?'"
Please listen to our discussion... I think you'll find him engaging and focused on growing Pfizer, no matter how challenging the financial climate becomes.