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Pfizer Incorporated (NYSE: PFE) is the world's largest research-based pharmaceutical company. The company is based in New York City. It produces the number-one selling drug Lipitor (atorvastatin, used to lower blood cholesterol); the oral antifungal medication Diflucan (fluconazole), the long-acting antibiotic Zithromax (azithromycin), the well-known erectile dysfunction drug Viagra (sildenafil citrate), and the anti inflammatory Celebrex (celecoxib) (also known as Celebra in some countries outside USA and Canada, mainly in South America).
With 2005 actual spending of $7.4 billion in research & development (R&D), Pfizer boasts the industry's largest pharmaceutical R&D organization: Pfizer Global Research and Development.
Pfizer is named after German-American cousins Charles Pfizer and Charles Erhardt who launched their chemicals business Charles Pfizer and Company from a building at the intersection of Harrison Avenue and Barlett Street in Williamsburg, Brooklyn in 1849. There, they produced an antiparasitic called santonin. This was an immediate success, although it was the production of citric acid that really kick-started Pfizer's growth in the 1880s. Pfizer continued to buy property to expand its lab and factory on the block bounded by Bartlett Street; Harrison Avenue; Gerry Street; and Flushing Avenue. That facility is still utilized for Backshop purposes. Pfizer established its original administrative headquarters at 81 Maiden Lane in Manhattan.
By 1910, sales totaled nearly $3 million, and Pfizer became established as an expert in fermentation technology. These skills were applied to the mass production of penicillin during World War II, in response to an appeal from the US government. The antibiotic was urgently needed to treat injured Allied soldiers, and it soon became known as "the miracle drug". In fact, most of the penicillin that went ashore with the troops on D-Day was made by Pfizer.
By the 1950s, Pfizer was established in Iran, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Cuba, Mexico, Panama, Puerto Rico and the United Kingdom.
Current members of the board of directors of Pfizer are: Michael S. Brown, M. Anthony Burns, Robert Burt, Don Cornwell, William H. Gray, Constance Horner, William Howell, Stanley Ikenberry, Jeff Kindler (chairman), George Lorch, Dana Mead, Ruth J. Simmons, and William Steere.
- Chief Executive Officer (CEO): Jeff Kindler
- Vice Chairman: David L. Shedlarz
- President of Worldwide Pharmaceutical Operations: Ian Read
- President of Global R&D: John LaMattina
- 2007 Pharmacist of the Year: Mike Militello, Pharm.D., BCPS
Pfizer is organized into four divisions: Human Health ($44.28B in 2005 sales), Consumer Healthcare ($3.87B in 2005 sales), Animal Health ($2.2B in 2005 sales), and Corporate Groups (which includes legal, finance, and HR). On June 26, 2006, Pfizer announced that it would sell its Consumer Healthcare unit (famous for well-known brands like Listerine, Nicorette, Visine, Sudafed and Neosporin) to Johnson & Johnson for $16.6B.
Merger and acquisition activity
Pfizer was relatively conservative with regard to mega-mergers through stock-for-stock transactions through most of its history until 2000. In that year, William Steere retired from the company and was succeeded by Henry McKinnell. As can be noted with any stock analysis tool, Pfizer's per share price (adjusted for splits) went from about $50 to $30 from 1999 to 2006 during McKinnell's tenure. With roughly 7 billion shares outstanding, this reflects a loss in value of $140 billion under McKinnell's leadership pursuing a strategy of growth via stock for stock acquisition. Many industry analysts, however, criticize McKinnell for diluting shareholder value with these expensive stock-for-stock acquisitions that obviously paid a premium for the underlying value of the acquired company. Furthermore, internal contributions to the pipeline did not replace declining value nor did these M&A activities. McKinnell received record compensation which he staunchly defended against critics.
Warner-Lambert / Parke-Davis / Agouron
In 2000, Pfizer merged with Warner-Lambert and acquired full rights to Lipitor (atorvastatin), the blockbuster statin previously jointly marketed by Warner-Lambert and Pfizer. Warner-Lambert was based in Morris Plains, New Jersey, where the company's former headquarters became a major base of operations for Pfizer. The facility, and Pfizer's consumer healthcare department, was sold to Johnson and Johnson in 2006 for $16.6 billion dollars.
Parke-Davis was acquired by Warner-Lambert in 1970, which in turn was bought by Pfizer in 2000. The headquarters of Parke-Davis was sold several years ago. The Parke-Davis research facilities in Ann Arbor, Michigan is planned to close in 2008.
Agouron Pharmaceuticals was acquired by Warner Lambert in 1999 and is now a subsidiary of Pfizer. Nelfinavir (Viracept®), an antiretroviral drug used in the treatment of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), was developed by Agouron Pharmaceuticals as part of a joint venture with Japan Tobacco Inc.
Pharmacia / Upjohn / Searle
Searle was founded in Omaha, Nebraska, in 1888. The founder was Gideon Daniel Searle. In 1908, the company was incorporated in Chicago. In 1941, the company established headquarters in Skokie, Illinois. It was acquired by the Monsanto company in 1985.
The Upjohn Company was a pharmaceutical manufacturing firm founded in 1886 in Kalamazoo, Michigan by Dr. William E. Upjohn, an 1875 graduate of the University of Michigan medical school. The company was originally formed to make friable pills, which were specifically designed to be easily digested.
In 1995, Upjohn merged with Pharmacia AB, to form Pharmacia & Upjohn. Pharmacia was created in April 2000 through the merger of Pharmacia & Upjohn with the Monsanto Company and its G.D. Searle unit. The merged company was based in Peapack, New Jersey. The agricultural division was spun off from Pharmacia, as Monsanto, in preparation for the close of the acquisition by Pfizer.
In 2002, Pfizer bought Pharmacia, a competitor, to become the largest pharmaceutical company in the world. The merger was again driven in part by the desire to acquire full rights to a blockbuster product, this time Celebrex (celecoxib), the COX-2 selective inhibitor previously jointly marketed by Searle (acquired by Pharmacia) and Pfizer.
SUGEN, customarily written with capital letters, was founded in 1991 in Redwood City, California, as a partnership between the laboratories of Joseph Schlessinger at New York University Medical School and Axel Ullrich at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry, with Steven Evans-Freke as a third co-founder. The name, SUGEN, comes from combining the first "S" in Schlessinger followed by the "U" in Ullrich with "GEN", which is a commonly used suffix for biotech companies (short for "GENetics"). The focus of the enterprise was to develop drugs targeting intracellular signaling pathways to treat cancer. Specifically, the company sought to discover competitive ATP small-molecule kinase inhibitors which would block common cancer pathways. Pharmacia acquired SUGEN in 1999, which merged with the pharmaceutical division of Monsanto in 2000 and was purchased by Pfizer in 2003. In 1999 Pharmacia took two of SUGEN's compounds into man in colon cancer clinical trials: SU5416 and SU6668; the trials were discontinued, but both of these compounds were in the series that eventually led to SU11248. SUGEN's laboratories were closed in 2003 as part of the reorganization following Pfizer's purchase of Pharmacia. From the acquisition, SUGEN compounds SU11248 and SU14813 entered Pfizer's pipeline. SU11248 was approved by the FDA for treatment of GIST and RCC cancers, in January of 2006, and is now marketed as Sutent (sunitinib).
Pfizer manufactures pharmaceutical medications. Pfizer has an annual product marketing budget of $3 billion, which was the fourth-largest in the US as of 2003. Pfizer employs 38,000 sales representatives worldwide.
In 2004 Pfizer’s Zoloft sales totaled $3.15 billion, contributing to 6.5% of Pfizer’s total revenue for 2004 and making it one of 19 drugs that generated more than $2 billion in revenues in the United States. In 2005, Zoloft sales totaled $3.5 billion, helping to make Pfizer one of the biggest drug makers in the world with approximately $51.3 billion in revenue for 2005. In 2005 Pfizer Inc. spent $7.4 billion on research and development, making Pfizer Global Research and Development the largest pharmaceutical research and development organization.
On September 24, 2007, Pfizer Inc. announced that the European Commission approved Celsentri (generic name, maraviroc and as Selzentry in the United States). Industry experts did forecast annual Celsentri sales of $500 million by 2011.
Development of Torcetrapib
Development of torcetrapib, a drug that increases production of HDL, or "good cholesterol", which reduces LDL that can cause heart disease, was cancelled on Saturday, December 2nd, 2006. The reason being that during a clinical trial test that involved 15,000 patients, more patients than expected died as a result of taking the medicine. A 60% increase in deaths was observed among patients taking torcetrapib and Lipitor versus taking Lipitor alone; there was no suggestion that the results called into question the safety of Lipitor. Pfizer has lost nearly $1 billion in investments on the failed drug, and December has seen the stocks and market value of the company plummet.
The following is a list of key prescription pharmaceutical products. The names shown are all registered trademarks of Pfizer Inc.
- Depo Provera
- Sudafed and alternate Sudafed PE
- Spiriva HandiHaler
- Xanax XR
Animal health brands
The following is a partial list of Animal Health brands manufactured by Pfizer:
- Bovi-Shield Gold
- Revolution Pet Medicine
- Solitude IGR
Over the Counter Product lines
The following is a partial list of Product lines previously manufactured by Pfizer but which were recently transferred to Johnson and Johnson in the sale of their Consumer Health division:
- Listerine Oral Care
- Zantac (over-the-counter form only)
Legislation and litigation
Pfizer acquired Quigley in 1968, and the division sold asbestos-containing insulation products until the early 1970s. Asbestos victims and Pfizer have been negotiating a settlement deal which calls for Pfizer to pay $430 million to 80 percent of existing plaintiffs. It will also place an additional $535 million into an asbestos settlement trust that will compensate future plaintiffs as well as the remaining 20 percent of current plaintiffs with claims against Pfizer and Quigley. The compensation deal is worth $965 million all up.
Of that $535 million, $405 million is in a 40-year note from Pfizer, while $100 million will come from insurance policies.
Bjork-Shiley heart valve
Pfizer purchased Shiley in 1979 at the onset of its Convexo-Concave valve ordeal, involving the Bjork-Shiley heart valve. Approximately 500 people died when defective valves failed and, in 1994, the United States ruled against Pfizer for ~$200 million.
Tort Reform Legislation Contributions
Off-label promotional practices
Access to pharmaceutical industry documents has revealed marketing strategies used to promote Neurontin® for off-label use. In 1993, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved gabapentin (Neurontin®, Pfizer) only for treatment of seizures. Warner-Lambert, which merged with Pfizer in 2000, used activities not usually associated with sales promotion, including continuing medical education and research, sponsored articles about the drug for the medical literature, and alleged suppression of unfavorable study results, to promote gabapentin. Within 5 years the drug was being widely used for the off-label treatment of pain and psychiatric conditions. In 2004, Warner-Lambert admitted to charges that it violated FDA regulations by promoting the drug for pain, psychiatric conditions, migraine, and other unapproved uses, and paid $430 million to resolve criminal and civil health care liability charges.
In March 2006 Pfizer sued the Philippines government as well as two government health officials personally, to prevent Philippines drug regulators from allowing the importation of less expensive versions of a Pfizer heart disease drug.
In May 2006, The Washington Post published a Nigerian government report that had remained unreleased for five years. In this report, a panel of Nigerian medical experts found that Pfizer violated international law. This stems from the company's alleged testing of an unapproved drug, an oral form of Trovafloxacin, on children with meningitis in Nigeria. Pfizer replied to the report saying they conducted the trial with full knowledge of the Nigerian government. These allegations have been the subject of litigation in both America and Nigeria. June 5, 2007 Nigerian federal government filed a civil lawsuit for $7 billion in damages against the drug maker, related to a study of an experimental meningitis treatment given to children. Two hundred children received Trovan in Kano, Nigeria, in 1996, the company said. The Nigerian government and Kano state government allege Pfizer gave the antibiotic to children without proper parental consent and that it disabled or killed some children.
In July 2007 the Nigerian government has filed criminal charges against Pfizer over the trials.
Research and development
Pfizer's human research and development organization is headquartered in New London, CT. The company has R&D labs in the following locations: Groton, Connecticut; Sandwich, England; Nagoya, Japan; Amboise, France; La Jolla, California; Cambridge, Massachusetts; Kalamazoo, Michigan; St. Louis, Missouri.
In 2004, Pfizer invested $7.68 billion in research and development, the largest investment in R&D by private biomedical research organization.
In 2007, Pfizer announced plans to completely close the Ann Arbor, Nagoya and Amboise Research facilities by the end of 2008, eliminating 2,160 jobs and idling the $300-million dollar Michigan facility, which had seen millions of dollars of expansion in recent years.
Employment & Diversity
Pfizer received a 100% rating on the Corporate Equality Index released by the Human Rights Campaign starting in 2004, the third year of the report. In 2007, Pfizer's Canadian division was named one of Canada's Top 100 Employers, as published in Maclean's magazine, the only research-based pharmaceutical company to receive this honor.
Pfizer has been involved in controversies over the medicine Diflucan (generic name fluconazole). In 1998, a campaign by Thai public health groups led to the elimination of the Pfizer monopoly on selling fluconazole in Thailand, and the price of the antifungal drug decreased from 200 baht to 6.5 baht in nine months, vastly expanding access to the medicine for AIDS patients. Faced with pressure for compulsory licenses to the Pfizer patent on this drug, Pfizer later established a program for limited access to the medicine in Africa.
"In the United States, 46 percent of all new HIV/AIDS cases occur in the South. From 2003–2006 the Pfizer Foundation has funded 23 innovative HIV/AIDS prevention programs and strengthened the capacity of community-based organizations to reach and serve their communities." Since 2003, Pfizer has committed a $3 Million grant toward supporting the Southern HIV/AIDS Prevention Initiative.
However, there are criticisms of the way Pfizer is testing its AIDS drug. "The European AIDS Treatment Group (EATG), collection of activists from 31 European Countries, said the design of the trial for Pfizer's CCR5 inhibitor Maraviroc (previously known as UK-427,857) is putting people with HIV infection at unnecessary risk of developing AIDS."
In 2001, Pfizer asked the U.S. government to pressure the Brazilian government against issuing compulsory licenses for the patents on the AIDS drug nelfinavir.
AIDS Drugs Manufactured by Pfizer
- ↑ http://www.pfizer.com/pfizer/main.jsp
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 Kenneth T. Jackson: The Encyclopedia of New York City: The New York Historical Society; Yale University Press; 1995. P. 895.
- ↑ Johnson & Johnson to Buy Pfizer Unit. MoneyNews.com (June 26, 2006). Retrieved on 2007-07-19.
- ↑ Pfizer (2003). Annual Review 2003. Annual Report.
- ↑ Schlessinger, Joseph (2005). "SU11248: Genesis of a New Cancer Drug". The Scientist 19(7):17-24. (subscription required)
- ↑ Pfizer Facts. Businessweek.com (February 28, 2005). Retrieved on 2006-05-15.
- ↑ Sciencemag.org
- ↑ Pfizer homepage
- ↑ Guardian report
- ↑ Reuters, Europe gives final approval to Pfizer HIV drug
- ↑ New York Times report
- ↑ Berenson, Alex. "Pfizer Ends Studies on Drug for Heart Diseas", The New York Times, December 3, 2006. Retrieved on 2006-12-03.
- ↑ Theresa Agovino (Associated Press). "Pfizer ends cholesterol drug development", Yahoo! News, December 3, 2006. Retrieved on 2006-12-03. Each study arm (torcetrapib + Lipitor vs. Lipitor alone) had 7500 patients enrolled; 51 deaths were observed in the Lipitor alone arm, while 82 deaths occurred in the torcetrapib + Lipitor arm.
- ↑ Prescription Pharmaceuticals and Consumer Health Care (Over-the-Counter) Products by Pfizer. Pfizer Inc. Retrieved on 2005-03-27.
- ↑ Pfizer adds Purell to its product line. Retrieved on 2006-05-15.
- ↑ Michael A. Steinman, MD; Lisa A. Bero, PhD; Mary-Margaret Chren, MD; and C. Seth Landefeld, MD (2006). "Narrative Review: The Promotion of Gabapentin: An Analysis of Internal Industry Documents". Annals of Internal Medicine 145 (4): 284-293. Retrieved on 2006-08-14.
- ↑ Jane E. Henney, MD (2006). "Editorial: Safeguarding Patient Welfare: Who's In Charge?". Annals of Internal Medicine 145 (4): 305-307. Retrieved on 2006-08-14.
- ↑ US Department of Justice Press Release: Warner-Lambert to pay $430 million to resolve criminal and civil health care liability charges Retrieved 14 August 2006
- ↑ 404 error. MSNBC. Retrieved on 2006-05-15.
- ↑ Pfizer's cuts blindside Ann Arbor workers, Kalamazoo Gazette, Sunday, January 23, 2007.
- ↑ Reasons for Selection, 2007 Canada's Top 100 Employers.
- ↑ Sithole, Emelia (February 21 2001). S.Africa okays Pfizer AIDS drug distribution. Reuters NewMedia. Retrieved on 2006-05-15.
- ↑ Global HIV/AIDS Partnerships: Southern HIV/AIDS Prevention Initiative. Pfizer. Retrieved on 2006-05-15.
- ↑ European AIDS Treatment Group. Retrieved on 2006-05-15.
- ↑ Hirschler, Ben (2005-04-12). Activists attack ethics of Pfizer AIDS drug trial. AIDS Meds.com. Retrieved on 2006-05-15.
- Pfizer Company Website - UK corporate site
- Pfizer Company Website - U.S. corporate site
- Yahoo! - Pfizer Inc Company Profile
- Bugs and Drugs - article by Gunjan Sinha
- Boston Globe "Pfizer Offers Discounts for the Uninsured"
- Pfizer Settlement Clears Asbestos Litigation Law.com
- Pfizer's savings program for people without prescription drug coverage Pfizer Helpful Answers
- Pfizer 4Q06 Earnings Press Release
- Barry Yeoman, Putting Science in the Dock, The Nation
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