Guest-hosting a fast-paced TV news program is no small feat. I enjoyed watching Dr. John Lechleiter gamely accept the challenge on CNBC’s Squawk Box program this morning. If you missed that or would like to revisit it, here are key sound bites from him about a few of the topics discussed with co-hosts Becky Quick and Andrew Ross Sorkin. (Dr. Lechleiter sat in for Joe Kernen today.)
1. Lilly's pipeline: In the Squawk Box spotlight himself, Dr. Lechleiter shined a light on Lilly’s Phase-3 Alzheimer’s medicine, which will see study data in late 2016. "We went through a period where we lost the patents on our four biggest products. You know what happens, generics come in, and that’s great for consumers, but we lose those revenues almost overnight. So we had to rebuild our pipeline. Now we’re seeing launches.”
2. Are we in a biotech bubble? "Investors are looking at our sector, biotech and pharmaceuticals, with fresh eyes,” Dr. Lechleiter said before offering his take on biotech company mergers and acquisitions (M&A) in the video above. “Now we're seeing that many of our companies are able to take the science and translate it into new therapies."
3. On China, which devalued its currency this week: Dr. Lechleiter finds that peering beyond the present is key: “We have to keep our eye on the longer-term picture there. The opportunity in China and the strength of the market long-term, I don't think that's changed based on these recent events."
4. About the hot topic of pharmaceutical pricing: "Greater than four out of five prescriptions are filled by low-cost generics,” Dr. Lechleiter said, noting that most people stateside do use some type of medicine. “The cost of illness is almost always greater than the cost of medicine." He recognizes the costs and points to the insurance industry for help in this clip:
5. Lilly's United Way partnership: As chairman of the board of United Way Worldwide, Dr. Lechleiter works closely with one of today’s Squawk Box guests, United Way Worldwide CEO Brian Gallagher. A native of Indiana, Lilly's home state, Gallagher highlighted United Way’s commitment to improving education. Dr. Lechleiter chimed in: “Lilly has been a partner with United Way or its precursor for 100 years. When we think about corporate social responsibility, we have evolved from simple philanthropy to actually getting things done. United Way has evolved too. There’s no better partner.”
This appearance by our thought leader-in-chief lends some intriguing insights into how Lilly will continue its sustainable business and improve health outcomes for people across the globe. It's an ever-evolving world, as we all know. We also know that innovating and accelerating access to new medicines will make life better tomorrow. And tomorrow starts today.