Roy Vagelos lived a rags-to-riches dream. He culminated his career as CEO of Merck, a giant company whose employees used to take lunch breaks at the store where he swept the floors as a boy. This is an inspiring tale, but not directly instructive. The author offers no tips for doctors, scientists or executives, nor does he address most of the current hot-button issues facing pharmaceutical companies. Vagelos simply, matter-of-factly presents the story of one man’s life and achievements, without preaching or teaching. He does offer insights into scientific research (maybe too many, but this is his passion), into competitive hiring and into his management approach. His discussion of Merck’s public health initiatives provides a much-needed counterpoint to the bad press the pharmaceutical industry has received in recent years. getAbstract suggests this book to those interested in Merck’s history, in the pharmaceutical industry, in biochemistry or in a perfect example of an American immigrant’s rise to success.
About the Authors
Roy Vagelos was CEO of Merck & Co., Inc. from 1985 to 1994. The author of more than 100 scientific papers, he is now chairman of both Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc., and Theravance, Inc. Louis Galambos, a professor at Johns Hopkins University, writes on U.S. business-government relations and the rise of the bureaucratic state. His books include Anytime, Anywhere.