Transcript: Pfizer's Dr. Hank McKinnell

This is a partial transcript from "Your World with Neil Cavuto," May 31, 2005, that was edited for clarity.

NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: Oh, to be Hank McKinnell (search) these days. He's the chairman of Pfizer (PFE), the folks who bring you the little blue pill now raising a whole bunch of issues. He is also head of the Business Roundtable (search), out with a survey that shows a whole bunch of good things going on in this economy. Now, if that's not enough, he has even got a new book out called "A Call to Action." And he has the same 24 hours in the day that I do.

Dr. Hank McKinnell, good to see you. Thanks for coming.

DR. HANK MCKINNELL, CHAIRMAN & CEO, PFIZER: Neil, good to be with you, as always.

CAVUTO: I would be remiss, Hank, if I didn't right away get into the Viagra (search) stuff. What about this issue on blindness and all that?

MCKINNELL: Well, this is a very rare, but serious condition which occurs in the general population. We have no evidence whatsoever that the condition is more common in men who take Viagra vs. men who don't take Viagra.

Remember, this is extremely rare. We have seen 36 cases out of 23 million, not something the average person should be concerned about. But, if you are concerned, don't listen to me. Don't listen to the media. Talk to your doctor. Now, the real problem here is, the doctor promoting these events is in the pay of a personal injury lawyer. And that's the real cause of high costs of health care.

CAVUTO: So, very quickly, if I have diabetes or clogged arteries, would it be wise for me not to take Viagra?

MCKINNELL: It's always wise for you to talk to your doctor to discuss your particular concerns. Diabetics, in the end stage, do suffer loss of vision. That's quite common for diabetics, whether they're taking Viagra or not. But the best advice is always talk to the ones who knows you best and knows the medicines the best. And that's your doctor.

CAVUTO: But there was finally no thought to pulling Viagra from the market?

MCKINNELL: Oh, please.


CAVUTO: OK. Just had to ask. Let's talk about the survey of the Business Roundtable. It looks pretty good. What are you seeing?

MCKINNELL: It looks very good, capital spending, revenue, employment trends, all very positive, CEOs expecting 3.4 percent economic growth this year, a little bit below what we saw last year. But, at this point of the recovery, that's probably a good thing. It means we're looking at what I like to call a Goldilocks economy, not too hot and not too cold, just about right.

CAVUTO: You know, Hank, normally, the market loves that sort of a thing. And I know that you despise talking about the stock market. But it amazes me it is not doing better, when these earrings and the forward- looking forecasts and surveys like this are looking pretty good. What's going on?

MCKINNELL: Well, me, too. My view is, the markets look about six months ahead, and there's a lot of uncertainty around, and investors don't like uncertainty.

CAVUTO: All right. So, for bosses, the corporate bosses, when they're asked on issues like expanding and hiring more people, as optimistic as they are, few of them commit a great deal of capital to that sort of thing. What's going on?

MCKINNELL: Well, the capital spending forecast is actually strong, almost 96 percent expecting increases or to be the same.

But those expecting increases are down a little bit from our last survey, which is not unexpected. But the uncertainties include high energy prices. That's something on everyone's mind. And interest rates are going up. And the one thing I see in the data which I worry about is a slowdown in what so far has been very strong growth in labor productivity in the first quarter and what appears to be a slight pickup in inflation. So, those — those two bear watching going forward.

CAVUTO: So, everyone is keeping an eye on that guy Greenspan.

All right, Hank, thank you very much. Good having you on.

MCKINNELL: Thank you, Neil.

CAVUTO: All right, Hank McKinnell of Pfizer.

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