History and Founders’ Profile
Pfizer is a research-based, global biopharmaceutical company that applies science and global resources to bring therapies to people that extend and significantly improve their lives through the discovery, development and manufacture of healthcare products. Its global portfolio includes medicines and vaccines, as well as many of the world’s best-known consumer healthcare products. Pfizer works across developed and emerging markets to advance wellness, prevention, treatments and cures that challenge the most feared diseases of our time. It collaborates with healthcare providers, governments and local communities to support and expand access to reliable, affordable healthcare around the world.
In 1849, Charles Pfizer, a chemist, and Charles F. Erhart, a confectioner, combined their skills to produce a palatable for of santonin, an anti-parasitic used to treat intestinal worms, a common illness in the mid-19th century. Pfizer was launched after the immediate success of this product in New York City, as a manufacturer of fine chemicals. The company expanded quickly in the years to come as they were always a step ahead in producing whichever chemical was most demanded at the time. In 1862, when the demand for painkillers, preservatives and disinfectants soared during the Civil War, Pfizer expanded their production of tartaric acid amongst other vital drugs, to aid the needs of the Union Army. The company grew even further by becoming the lead producer of citric acid when the demand for this ingredient soared as drinks like Coca-Cola™, Dr. Pepper™ and Pepsi-Cola™ gained popularity.
In 1891, Charles Pfizer bought William Erhart’s shares, claiming full control of the company. Pfizer then went public on June 22, 1942, when it offered 240,000 new shares of common stock to the public. Pfizer began its operations in India in 1950. Today, Pfizer has acquired more than thirty companies and now develops and produces medicines and vaccines for a wide range of medical disciplines, making it one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies.
Pfizer was initially launched as a chemical manufacturing plant but since the 19th century, it has evolved to produce products and medicines that support wellness and prevention. It has developed treatments and cures for diseases across a broad range of illnesses, both acute and chronic ones, while maintaining their high quality standards, making them one of the top multinational companies in the Indian pharmaceutical industry.
Pfizer’s product portfolio includes anti-allergic, anti-diabetic, anti-infectives, anti-parasitic, cardiovascular, neurology, pain and inflammation, respiratory, vitamins and minerals, antibiotics, steroids, and vaccines among other medicines and treatments. Among them, their most popular products in terms of worldwide revenue include: Prevnar 13®, a vaccine for children for the prevention of invasive diseases; Lyrica®, treatment for diabetic nerve pain, spinal cord injury nerve pain & partial onset seizures in adults with epilepsy; and Enbrel®, a prescription medicine used to treat five chronic diseases, including moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis.
Pfizer’s products provide treatments to a diverse range of illnesses. As of the year ended December 31st, 2016, almost 50% of the company’s revenue streams from the United States, around 17% from Europe, another 20% from emerging markets (i.e.: Asia (excluding Japan and South Korea), Latin America, Africa, Eastern Europe, Central Europe, the Middle East and Turkey), and the remaining 13% from the rest of the world (i.e.: Japan, Canada, Australia, South Korea and New Zealand). From their sales figures, one can see that this company’s products are sold worldwide in both developed as well as developing markets, although the maximum number of customers originate from the United States.
By analysing their most popular products (i.e.: Prevnar 13®, Lyrica®, Enbrel®, Celebrex®, Viagra®, and Lipitor®), it is evident that most of their revenue comes from people who take vaccines for prevention from pneumococcal infections, or those who need treatment for epilepsy, neuralgia, neuropathy and fibromyalgia; rheumatoid arthritis and spondylitis; arthritis and joint pain; erectile dysfunction; or LDL cholesterol. Hence, these are generally the customers this company is targeting for revenue.
Being a pharmaceutical company which wishes to provide treatments and cures to diseases which do not have any solutions yet, Pfizer is focusing on other therapeutic areas some of which include metabolic diseases, cardiovascular diseases, autoimmune diseases, tumours, and other rare diseases. Until they develop a viable product for such illnesses, their revenue is completely dependent on customers with illnesses as those above, where treatments and cures are already available, but this does not limit the amount of time and money they invest in research and development of solutions to these problems.