What’s wrong with Merck?

I have been following Merck’s screwup with the recall of Vioxx and I have also developed a formula for estimating Merck’s Vioxx liability. This is an excellent case study in how not to develop your business and legal strategy. As of today, my formula shows that Merck is looking at at least $200 billion in liabilities and I am being very conservative with my calculations.

So what should Merck do?

    Stop treating your (past) customers like your enemies. Your current and future customers are eventually going to react to their mistreatment by buying competitive drugs (unless you have a monopoly). Blasting Vioxx users and/or juries is not excellent PR strategy.
    Stop misleading your shareholders. Fighting one-case-at-a-time is definitely good for your lawyers (Oh! Don’t we all love to get paid $500 a hour with no end in sight) but not so good for your shareholders.

How Singapore is tranforming its economy?

How to buy stem cells over the web?

I had written earlier about the Singapore Biopolis project and how remarkable this effort was in transformation of a country’s business model. It is no secret that semiconductors and electronics are not as exciting sectors as they used to be and clearly biotech is one sector with plenty of growth potential.

In an article in the Times, I was impressed to read how some of the top scientists in the field of biotech are setting up shop in Singapore, attracted by some of the best salaries in the world, excellent quality of life, and hard-working people. Of course, having a government that is seriously committed to growth helps. We wanted to be in a place where they are excited by science and things are moving upward, Dr. Neal Copeland, a top American scientist, is quoted as saying about Singapore and its competitiveness in the world of biotech. (Related: Dubai is another Singapore in the making)

There is something else that caught my attention in the article. A Singapore company called ES Cell is selling stem cells on the web for as little as $6,000 (see the image at the top of the page). Oh, the wonders of ecommerce!