Courtesy of the Kalamazoo Valley Museum
Downtown Kalamazoo, circa 1950's
The Midwestern city of Kalamazoo lost its pharmaceutical anchor but scrambled to keep its scientists. Is there a lesson for other regions - and researchers?
On a spring morning in April 2003, thousands of people reported to work in Kalamazoo, Mich., to find that their future with their new employer, Pfizer, the largest pharmaceutical company in the world, was on the line. In hindsight, Pfizer's 6,300 employees in this small Midwestern prairie town should have seen the layoffs coming. Before acquiring Pharmacia in a $57 billion deal earlier that month, the company had no major ties to Kalamazoo. Pfizer's headquarters was in Big Pharma country on the East Coast, and it had notified Kalamazoo officials in...