About Pfizer Inc.

Pfizer is one of the world's largest research-based pharmaceuticals firms, producing medicines for ailments in fields including cardiovascular health, metabolism, oncology, and inflammation and immunology. Its top prescription products include cholesterol-lowering Lipitor, pain management drugs Celebrex and Lyrica, pneumonia vaccine Prevnar, and erectile dysfunction treatment Viagra, as well as arthritis drug Enbrel, antibiotic Zyvox, and high-blood-pressure therapy Norvasc. Consumer health products (which Pfizer is looking to sell) include such leading brands as Advil, Centrum, and Robitussin. Pfizer and Allergan called off their $160 billion mega-merger in 2016, citing tax reasons.


Pfizer operates through two business segments -- Pfizer Innovative Health (IH) and Pfizer Essential Health (EH). IH is the larger segment, accounting for some 55% of total revenue. That segment focuses on the development and commercialization of novel medicines and vaccines and consumer health care products. It is engaged in areas including internal medicine, oncology, inflammation and immunology, and rare diseases.

The EH (which accounts for about 45% of revenue) segment manages Pfizer's legacy brands that have lost or will lose patent protection and market exclusivity. It also manages the company's branded generics, generic sterile injectables, and biosimilars. The segment also has research and development operations and provides contract manufacturing services.

Pfizer currently has eight blockbusters, or products that bring in more than $1 billion in revenue: Lyrica, the Prevnar13 suite, Enbrel, Ibrance, Lipitor, Viagra, Sutent, and the Premarin suite of products. The company is working diligently to launch new blockbusters from its robust R&D pipeline to make up for off-patent losses. It has dozens of projects in clinical stages of development, including drugs for psoriasis, diabetes, lung cancer, pain, and infections.

Geographic Reach

While the US is Pfizer's single largest market (accounting for about half of all revenues), the drug maker has a strong global presence. It operates in more than 90 international markets, including Japan (nearly 10% of sales), Australia, Canada, Finland, New Zealand, Scandinavia, South Korea, and countries in Western Europe. The company is also growing in emerging markets such as Brazil, China, India, Mexico, Russia, and Turkey.

Pfizer has major manufacturing facilities in Belgium, China, Germany, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Puerto Rico, Singapore, and the US. In all, it operates more than 60 plants around the world.

The company sells its products in more than 125 countries globally.

Sales and Marketing

Pfizer markets its pharmaceuticals directly to doctors, hospitals, nurses, pharmacists, retailers, clinics, benefit management firms, managed care organizations, employer groups, government agencies, and to patients themselves. Most of its sales are conducted through wholesale distributors including McKesson, Cardinal Health, and AmerisourceBergen, which combined account for around 40% of annual revenues.

The company also markets directly to consumers in the US through direct advertising, including television, print, and digital ads, as well as in-store promotions. It sells its consumer health care products through distributors, pharmacies, retail chains, grocery stores, convenience stores, and other channels.

Advertising expenses totaled some $3.2 billion in 2016, versus $3.1 billion in both 2015 and 2014.

Financial Performance

Pfizer saw a slow revenue decline from 2011 through 2015 but, in 2016, revenue grew 8% to $52.8 billion. Both of the company's segments had higher sales that year: IH increased by 9% and EH increased by 7%. In the IH segment, key brands that contributed to growth included Lyrica, Xeljanz, Chantix, and Xtandi; the EH segment benefited from the 2015 acquisition of Hospira and growth in the sterile injectable pharmaceuticals portfolio.

Net income fell in 2014 and 2015 as the company's R&D and restructuring expenses increased. Thanks to the higher revenue in 2016, net income rose 4% to $7.2 billion.

Cash flow from operations also increased, rising 8% to $15.9 billion. Changes in inventories and trade accounts payable, plus a write-down of its global infusion therapy net assets (sold to ICU Medical) drove that increase.


Pfizer has ambitions to become the premier pharmaceutical firm by 2020. It has been challenged in that goal by numerous patent expirations and failed merger attempts, but has been successful in getting regulatory approvals to launch new products.

In 2016 Pfizer and Ireland-based Allergan terminated their planned merger, which would have been the largest-ever health care deal. The $160 billion transaction would have created the world's largest drug maker, surpassing Johnson & Johnson. The failed deal was structured as an inversion merger, through which Pfizer would have adopted Allergan's home in tax-friendly Ireland. However, pushback from the US government (seeking to prevent losing corporate taxes) ultimately proved too much for the two companies, and the deal was canceled.

After the Allergan deal was called off, Pfizer began considering its options including making new acquisitions, divesting various operations, and splitting into two businesses. In September 2016, the company announced that it would not split into two but would rather continue to operate its two distinct businesses with their own strategies for growth and increasing operational efficiency. In the IH segment, the focus is on expanding its portfolio through R&D and acquisitive means. (Its $14 billion acquisition of cancer biotech Medivation fit in with efforts to expand its oncology portfolio.) The EH segment is focused on managing its portfolio, strengthening its core brands while divesting others.

Two years after its 2015 $17 billion acquisition of Hospira, Pfizer sold Hospira Infusion Systems (HIS) to ICU Medical for $1 billion. HIS was Pfizer's global infusion therapy business and included IV pumps and devices. Through the deal, Pfizer gained a stake of about 17% in ICU Medical.

Pfizer now plans to sell its consumer health division, which includes such products as Advil. It began searching for buyers in October 2017 and hopes to make some $15 billion on the unit. In early 2018 the company announced it would shut down its Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease discover and early development operations; it will redistribute research funds to other areas.

The company divested four non-core candidates in 2017 by spinning off the newly established SpringWorks Therapeutics.

In terms of R&D, Pfizer is concentrating on biosimilars, immunology and inflammation, metabolic disease and cardiovascular risks, oncology, rare diseases, and vaccines. Pfizer has also increasingly relied on partnerships to build its R&D activities, including some team-ups with fellow top pharma companies such as Bristol-Myers Squibb (cardiovascular and metabolic candidates), and GlaxoSmithKline (HIV).

Recent regulatory approvals include US FDA approvals for Xeljanz (for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis) and Ibrance (for breast cancer treatment), both received in 2016.

Mergers and Acquisitions

Pfizer has made a number of acquisitions to beef up its development-stage and commercialized offerings and ward off losses from patent expiration. In 2015, Pfizer bought Hospira, which provides specialty injectable drugs and infusion technologies, for approximately $17 billion. The acquisition boosted Pfizer's portfolio, adding, among other products, several marketed biosimilars and sterile injectables. Pfizer sold Hospira's infusion systems operations to ICU Medical for $1 billion in early 2017.

Also in 2015, the company acquired a controlling stake in startup Redvax, a spin-off of Swiss biotech firm Redbiotec; the acquisition provided Pfizer with access to a preclinical human cytomegalovirus (CMV) vaccine candidate.

In 2016, Pfizer bought Anacor Pharmaceuticals, which has a non-steroid ointment for the treatment of eczema in its pipeline, for $5.2 billion. The deal was the first acquisition after the planned merger with Allergan fell apart.

Also that year, the company acquired biopharmaceutical Medivation for $14 billion, gaining a pipeline of cancer drugs as well as prostate cancer drug Xtandi. Other deals completed that year included the purchase of Bamboo Therapeutics (gene therapies for rare diseases) and the acquisition of development and commercialization rights to AstraZeneca's late-stage small antibotics business (including rights to Zavicefta, Merrem, and Zinforo).

In 2017 Pfizer acquired over-the-counter rights to AstraZeneca's Neksium heartburn drug in India.

Company Background

Pfizer was founded by cousins Charles Pfizer and Charles Erhart in 1849.

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Pfizer Inc.

235 E 42nd St
New York, NY 10017-5703
Phone: 1 (212) 733-2323
Fax: 1 (212) 309-0896


  • Employer Type: Public
  • Stock Symbol: PFE
  • Stock Exchange: NYSE
  • Chairman and CEO: Ian C. Read
  • EVP Business Operations and CFO: Frank A. D'Amelio
  • Chairman and CEO: Ian C. Read
  • 2017 Employees: 90,200

Major Office Locations

  • New York, NY

Other Locations

  • Conway, AR
  • Aliso Viejo, CA
  • La Jolla, CA
  • Pacifica, CA
  • Sacramento, CA
  • San Diego, CA
  • San Francisco, CA
  • Santa Monica, CA
  • Stockton, CA
  • Boulder, CO
  • Denver, CO
  • Groton, CT
  • New Haven, CT
  • Trumbull, CT
  • Coral Springs, FL
  • Miami, FL
  • Saint Petersburg, FL
  • Albany, GA
  • Atlanta, GA
  • Marietta, GA
  • Fort Dodge, IA
  • Cary, IL
  • Chicago, IL
  • Itasca, IL
  • Lake Forest, IL
  • Mount Prospect, IL
  • South Bend, IN
  • Terre Haute, IN
  • Leawood, KS
  • Mcpherson, KS
  • Bowling Green, KY
  • Andover, MA
  • Boston, MA
  • Cambridge, MA
  • Westford, MA
  • Owings Mills, MD
  • Silver Spring, MD
  • Clarkston, MI
  • Grosse Ile, MI
  • Kalamazoo, MI
  • Rochester, MI
  • Trenton, MI
  • Eden Prairie, MN
  • Minneapolis, MN
  • Stillwater, MN
  • Independence, MO
  • Lees Summit, MO
  • Saint Louis, MO
  • Battleboro, NC
  • Charlotte, NC
  • Clayton, NC
  • Durham, NC
  • Rocky Mount, NC
  • Sanford, NC
  • Lincoln, NE
  • Basking Ridge, NJ
  • Bridgewater, NJ
  • Dunellen, NJ
  • Ewing, NJ
  • Madison, NJ
  • Morris Plains, NJ
  • North Bergen, NJ
  • Old Bridge, NJ
  • Parsippany, NJ
  • Peapack, NJ
  • Somerset, NJ
  • Buffalo, NY
  • New Windsor, NY
  • Pearl River, NY
  • Rouses Point, NY
  • Beachwood, OH
  • Dublin, OH
  • Franklin, OH
  • West Chester, OH
  • Portland, OR
  • Blandon, PA
  • Collegeville, PA
  • Gibsonia, PA
  • Harleysville, PA
  • Landisville, PA
  • Lewisberry, PA
  • Lititz, PA
  • West Chester, PA
  • San Juan, PR
  • Bartlett, TN
  • Cordova, TN
  • Germantown, TN
  • Memphis, TN
  • Nashville, TN
  • Fort Worth, TX
  • Roanoke, TX
  • Coalville, UT
  • Richmond, VA
  • Ridgeway, VA
  • Montpelier, VT
  • Edmonds, WA
  • Lacey, WA
  • Hartland, WI
  • Middleton, WI
  • Pleasant Prairie, WI
  • Port Washington, WI
  • Belmont, WV
  • Casper, WY
  • Antwerpen, Belgium
  • Brussel, Belgium
  • Bruxelles, Belgium
  • Puurs, Belgium
  • Beijing, China
  • Hangzhou, China
  • Nanjing, China
  • Shanghai, China
  • Tianjin, China
  • Bengaluru, India
  • Gurgaon, India
  • Hyderabad, India
  • Mumbai, India
  • Chita-Gun, Japan
  • Ota-Ku, Japan
  • Yokohama, Japan
  • Ciudad De Mexico, Mexico
  • Belfast, Northern Ireland
  • Hsinfeng Hsiang, Taiwan
  • New Taipei City, Taiwan
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