In a Forbes interview, Pfizer’s CEO (an accountant, born in Scotland no less) was quoted as saying to employees: “I’m not going to talk about mission or vision. We’ve got to talk about imperatives.” Namely, cutting costs and pleasing shareholders.

He also said some other interesting things.

“What’s sad is this,” Read insists. “When you look at the totality of the health care system, everybody says, ‘Oh, my God, we can’t afford what we’re spending on health care.’ But nobody looks on the other side of the ledger.”

“I understand the physicians saying, ‘Look, these prices are too high,’ ” Read says. But according to Read, these physicians — to use an old Scottish phrase — are talking’ pish! “It’s because their patients can’t get access. That is an insurance issue,” says Read.

Read insists drug companies don’t make undue profits. He points out that, in terms of return on capital or return on assets, pharma is just average.