It takes 20 years for a company to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it, business magnate Warren Buffett once warned. If not ruined entirely, the reputation of international generic pharmaceutical giant Aspen has suffered untold damage. And it’s damage all of its own making. It is hard to imagine how any headline could be more detrimental than the one The Times of London used for a story on Aspen on April 14: "Drug firm plots to destroy life-saving cancer drugs in bid to drive up prices." It was a headline that media (formal and social) locked onto. The drugs in question are known as the Cosmos portfolio, for which Aspen bought the rights from GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) for £273m in 2009. The portfolio encompasses Mercaptopurine, used to treat acute lymphoblastic leukaemia, a disease confined to children, Busulfan and Chlorambucil, for treating leukaemia, and drugs for cancer that occurs primarily among the elderly. According to Aspen, the Cosmos portfolio produced revenue of €...

BL Premium

This article is reserved for our subscribers.

A subscription helps you enjoy the best of our business content every day along with benefits such as articles from our international business news partners; ProfileData financial data; and digital access to the Sunday Times and Sunday Times Daily.

Already subscribed? Simply sign in below.

Questions or problems? Email or call 0860 52 52 00. Got a subscription voucher? Redeem it now