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Remember Pfizer's (PFE) "golden age of drug discovery", the one that it was entering back in April? News comes now that Martin Mackay, the company exec who gave Bloomberg News that quote, has left for AstraZeneca (AZN).

Mackay had been head of Pfizer's research for the last three years, and will be head of R&D in his new position. The news story linked to has various analysts talking about Pfizer's recent problems, and Mackay's effect on them, but I think that sort of thing is unfair. Three years (in most cases) is nowhere near enough time to say whether a head of research is making an impact on the drug pipeline. That's one of the biggest problems with managing in this industry - the long lead times before you get the real answers about anything.

At any rate, I wish good luck to Mackay in his new position, and the same to his successor at Pfizer, Wyeth's Mikael Dolsten. They, like all of us, need all the luck that they can get, golden age or no.

Source: Pfizer's 'Golden Age of Drug Discovery' Announcer Moves on to AstraZeneca