Pascal Soriot has had enough of critics who snipe from the sidelines. “I’m a player, I’m not a watcher or a commentator,” says the chief executive of Astra Zeneca with a flash of annoyance.
If the Frenchman is feeling sore about those “armchair quarterbacks”, it is because Astra has been in the firing line over the past few months: first about confusion over the data from a vaccine for Covid-19 that the Cambridge-based drug giant is developing with Oxford University, and then over its decision to launch a $39bn (£28.6bn) deal to buy Alexion, an American company that specialises in treatments for rare diseases.
It is for this reason he will not be drawn on the government’s response to the pandemic. “So many people have
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