Pfizer Pharmaceuticals was established in 1849. It started with chemical-drug excipients (especially tartaric acid). In 1919, it successfully produced citric acid in large quantities through fermentation technology, using citric acid as its main product. During World War II, due to the mass production of antibiotics (Penicillin) through exclusive fermentation technology, Pfizer was considered to be the largest pharmaceutical factory producing antibiotics. After the 1950s, Pfizer began to establish strongholds around the world, strengthened its research and development capabilities, and produced many drugs, such as Vibramycin, Piroxicam, etc. In 1998, it developed the magic blue pill, Viagra. After 2000, Pfizer increased its R&D funding and continued to develop new products. However, due to the expiration of patented drugs and high R&D costs, it began to acquire companies such as Warner-Lambert, Wyeth, Allergan, Hospira, etc in order to stabilize their business territory.
Since its establishment, Pfizer has been pursuing human health as its mission and strives to reflect the corporate values. Upholding these corporate spirits, Pfizer is now headquartered in New York, with approximately 100,000 employees worldwide, 63 production bases, and annual revenues over US$50 billion, with operations in 175 countries and regions around the world.
Product and development areas
In addition to antibiotics, the commonly used three-hyper series medications, such as Lipitor with Atorvastatin and NORVASC with Amlodipine, as well as the non-nicotine smoking quitting drugs, Champix with Varenicline are products of Pfizer.
Currently, there are over 100 new drug research programs in Pfizer. Among them, there are 25 drugs in Phase III, 33 in Phase II, and 20 in Phase I. There are more than 10 programs for new Chinese medicines, in the area of allergies and respiratory tract, cardiovascular and metabolism, gastrointestinal and liver, urogenital, infection, inflammation, central nervous system, cancer, ophthalmology and pain.
Although Pfizer has invested a lot on R&D, the effectiveness of new drugs in clinical trials has not been very good. Pfizer can only rely on financial resources to continue to acquire other pharmaceutical companies and add new drugs. Many successful products in recent years, such as Lipitor, rely on the acquisition of products from Luozhi. As soon as the patent is gone, other generic drugs followed up, there would be a revenue gap. In 2016, AstraZeneca and Pfizer reached an agreement to sell several antibiotic patents to Pfizer. The acquisition of US anticancer drug manufacturer, Medivation for $ 14 billion in cash to increase new oncology drug items, as well as tax avoidance and personnel streamlining to reduce costs. In 2015, the merges with Irish Botox pharmaceutical company, Allergan with US$1600 billion.
The previous strategy of acquiring and expanding product selection and tax avoidance to reduce costs is not a “permanent cure”. Current Pfizer CEO said that he would reposition Pfizer to put more resources on R&D, simplify operation, and discontinue the previous development strategy. Let us see whether Pfizer can regain its footing in the future and give a new direction.