As the question and answer heated up Read put his personal reputation and that of Pfizer on the line. Some guarantees have been made in writing but they are not convincing either.
But apart from the money there is drug research and development.
AstraZeneca's CEO Pascal Soriot, a biologist by training, stressed that a takeover would disrupt its work on a potentially lucrative pipeline of new drugs. He also called the five-year time window offered by the Pfizer commitments too short.
Opinion: Buying out the competition, and mergers, are rarely good for consumers, especially if that means a monopoly. The supply, development and research of new drugs should never be monopolised. The reasons why are plain for all to see. Such a monopoly pushes up prices, reduces quality and in the case of drugs can almost hold a nation to ransom.
Our good health should never be in the hands of money grabbing corporations that are only interested in profit-making. To do so leads to some drugs never being developed as there is money in maintaining the status quo.
If the British government decides it does not support the takeover of Pfizer what happens next is unclear. Does the government really have any power to prevent the takeover taking place?
Pfizer are determined to get AstraZeneca. They have made three bids since, January, increasing the offers each time. At time of writing AstraZeneca say the offers do not represent the value of the company.
We Brits know that US companies do not necessarily keep job promises when they take over companies - consider Kraft's takeover of Cadbury's.
In the case of Pfizer is it anything more than trying to corner the drugs market in order to maintain high prices and find a tax haven for wealth, in the UK?
"Pfizer has promised to complete AstraZeneca's research and development hub in Cambridge and to establish the new company's tax residence in England." Hardly good news unless our UK Tax system is overhauled. But then if it is will Pfizer pull out of this promise? "Pfizer could pay UK corporate tax rate of 20%, rather than 40% in the US. The UK also offers a special 10% "patent box" tax on products derived from research in the UK".
Obviously US politicians are not happy about the tax issue and are hastily trying to tighten any loopholes at their end.
For what it's worth this writer's opinion is that AstraZeneca should refuse the takeover and if necessary the government should step in.
The only winners in the takeover will be Pfizer and its shareholders. The losers will be the sick and AstraZeneca employees.
In the end will it all boil down to the views of Astra shareholders though?