How Pfizer became the leader in pharma & biotech

How Pfizer became the leader in pharma & biotech

Pfizer is one of the world's top pharmaceutical and biotechnology corporations. Let's take a look at the company's remarkable journey spanning more than 170 years…

Pfizer Inc. is a leader in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry, offering medicines and vaccines to create a healthier world.

From being established as a chemical company in 1849 in a single small red-brick building in Brooklyn to becoming one of the world’s top pharmaceutical and biotechnology corporations, Pfizer has come a long way.

Today, Pfizer is well-known for its Covid-19 vaccination called "Pfizer-BioNTech". After all, with its 90% success rate, the vaccine has saved countless lives worldwide.

Statistics of 2021 Highlighting Pfizer’s Success

Let’s take a deeper look into Pfizer's history to understand how it became a premier pharmaceutical and biotechnology company, gaining a market share of 5%, in the highly competitive industry, despite humble beginnings. 

The Humble Beginnings of Pfizer

Pfizer's story began with the dream of two German immigrants. 

Fascinated by the 'land of opportunity,’ Charles Pfizer and Charles Erhart moved to America, taking on the difficult job of learning English to establish a chemical manufacturing business.

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How Pfizer Came To Be?

One would expect that Pfizer would have been founded by two renowned chemists and entrepreneurs. Surprisingly, that was not the case. 

While Charles Pfizer was a chemist, Charles Erhart, his cousin, was a confectioner. As we will see later, the two cousins managed to capitalize on each other’s capabilities to build their company.

Pfizer and Erhart migrated to America in October 1849, and in the same year, they established their chemical business in Brooklyn, New York. 

During their initial months, they focused on establishing distribution networks and marketing their product to reduce the risk. They were successful in doing so, and with this plan in place, Pfizer asked his father for a $2500 loan, through which they rented a factory and began manufacturing their first product on a large scale.

Santonin - the product they devised to cure intestinal worms - was an instant success.

Interestingly, the appeal of the medication wasn't just limited to its effectiveness but also its taste. This is where Erhart was able to put his confectionery skills to good use. Through his expertise, he ensured that the otherwise bitter medication now tasted like an almond toffee.

Expanding the Product Range

By 1868, Pfizer had doubled its revenues through its wider product range and had a workforce of around 150 people.

How did the company achieve all that in such a short time?

Pfizer's response to the Civil War was one reason, among others, which led to its massive success. The demand for painkillers and disinfectants, of course, skyrocketed during this time. Furthermore, economic policies such as the introduction of tariffs helped reduce foreign competition, creating a window of opportunity for Pfizer to establish its place in the local market. Pfizer, therefore, took full advantage of the situation by strategically expanding its product line.

On the one hand, Pfizer developed products such as iodine, morphine, and chloroform, all of which were in high demand during the war.

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On the other hand, Pfizer saw the introduction of the tariffs as an opportunity to steal the market of tartars from its European competitors. 

Tartaric acid was beneficial in treating wounds, therefore, soldiers usually took it with them on the battlefield. However, its uses were not limited to the battlefield. For example, the chemical could be used to flavor beverages, and it was an important component in many baking ingredients. 

Understanding the importance of the product, Pfizer started to import tartars from Europe and refine them in its factories. The profit gained from the refined tartars was quite high compared to the cost of raw tartars, explaining why Pfizer was able to increase its revenues at such a rapid speed.

Owing to Pfizer’s quick and smart response to the economic conditions, in 1868, the company was able to shift its headquarters to Manhattan, where it renovated a building for this purpose. After that, Pfizer began to expand into other cities. For example, in 1882, Pfizer opened a warehouse and an office in Chicago for the first time.

Fermentation: The Secret to Pfizer’s Success

One of the most admirable things about Pfizer was its ability to master new production techniques and replicate them on a large scale. 

One such technique was fermentation, which would become the basis of Pfizer's success in the coming years.

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During the early twentieth century, the demand for drinks such as Coca-Cola, Dr. Pepper, and Pepsi, was on the rise. Pfizer noticed the popularity of these drinks and decided to produce the raw material that was fundamental in their production - citric acid.

Citric acid was produced through the process of mold fermentation. Pfizer’s solution was to master the technique of fermentation in order to defeat its European competitors. Ultimately, the company didn’t just succeed, but it also extended the use of this technique to its other products, which proved to be beneficial, especially during the second world war. This will be discussed in detail later.

Pfizer's expertise in fermentation paid off well. By 1939, the cost of citric acid dropped dramatically from $1.25 to a mere 20c. It was no surprise then, that the company was widely recognized for its fermentation technology during that time.

Pfizer Heads Into The Vitamins Market

While the fermentation technology was the launchpad for Pfizer’s success, the company was well-aware of where the technology could be applied effectively and where it couldn’t.

In 1936, Pfizer devised a fermentation-free method for the production of Vitamin C. 

Encouraged by the success of this new method, the company immediately brought a new production plant and soon became the world’s leading producer of vitamin C.

Due to the unmitigated success of the production of vitamin C, Pfizer saw it fit to begin producing other vitamins as well. Therefore, in 1938, the company began production of vitamin B-12 and eventually moved on to vitamin A, establishing itself as a leader in the market of vitamin production.

Key Takeaway #1: Keep an Eye on Competitors - Always!

It is clear from Pfizer's history that most of its competition came from foreign, European manufacturers. The leaders of Pfizer understood this and therefore, kept their eyes peeled for any opportunity available for winning over the local market.

For example, during the war, Pfizer was well-aware of the position of its European competitors due to the imposition of tariffs. Therefore, the company scrambled to take over the process of refining tartars, which was one of the biggest sources of revenue for the Europeans.

Similarly, Pfizer mastered fermentation technology itself to take over the production of citric acid too. In fact, the company managed to gain such expertise that it led to a dramatic decrease in the prices of the product itself.

Hence, Pfizer wasn’t just aware of the situation of its competitors, it also knew how to defeat them. In both examples listed above, the company didn’t stick to its current products but made an effort to expand into new markets which were previously owned by the Europeans.

Pfizer Expanding Globally & Launching New Products

Pfizer bore the fruits of its expertise in fermentation technology. 

Not only was it able to increase its own revenue, but it was also able to aid the wounded soldiers who were fighting in World War Two.

Pfizer’s Role in the Battlefield

As a pharmaceutical company, Pfizer’s role in the second world war was vital. During that time, the demand for penicillin grew exponentially as more and more soldiers got injured. Penicillin itself was a landmark in the history of medicine, as it was the first antibiotic ever produced. However, this miracle drug was short in supply, and therefore, the US government turned to Pfizer to aid them in its production.

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That was where the fermentation technology proved crucial. At that time, Pfizer was the only pharmaceutical company that used this technology to produce penicillin on a massive scale.

The company was devoted to ensuring that its supply of penicillin met the needs of the country. It didn't hesitate in investing millions of dollars and at its own risk, Pfizer purchased a nearby vacant plant, along with the equipment required for deep-tank fermentation. Apart from financial effort, the company also encouraged its workers to facilitate the process, who worked around the clock to ensure the success of the venture.

In around four months, Pfizer became the largest producer of the ‘miracle drug’. It also exceeded its own expectations, producing around five times more penicillin than anticipated. Therefore, when the Allied forces gathered on the battlefield, almost every one of the soldiers carried Pfizer’s penicillin with them.

How Pfizer Went Public?

During its first century, Pfizer was operating as a private business, run by family members. In 1891, with Charles Erhart's demise, Charles Pfizer acquired the company until 1905, when his son was appointed as the President. In 1906, Pfizer also passed away, and a tribute was given to him in the New York Tribune, remarking upon his excellent skills as a businessman and as a chemist.

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Pfizer’s son was the last family member to be actively involved in the operations of the company. He served as chairman till 1941. In the following year, the company decided to go public, offering around 240,000 shares to the public.

Pfizer’s Global Expansion In The Second Half of the Twentieth Century

In the years to follow, Pfizer threw caution to the wind and established operations in many countries all around the world. It took giant strides and never looked back.

Pfizer’s International Division encompassed a large number of countries. 1951 was an especially successful year for the company in terms of international expansion. Operations were established in Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Cuba, England, Mexico, Panama, and Puerto Rico - a total of eight countries in just a single year!

Despite its large-scale expansion, Pfizer didn’t lose sight of how to manage its business. Its international policy was based on trusting its employees. Therefore, instead of keeping them on a tight leash, the company afforded its international workers enough autonomy to make their own critical decisions. This approach has fared quite well for the company throughout the years.

Pfizer didn’t stop at its initial eight countries. In 1955, the company ventured into the UK market, establishing its first fermentation plant in England. In 1958, new plants were inaugurated in Mexico, Italy, and Turkey. 

By 1961, a new world headquarters was established in Manhattan to manage these locations. In 1972, Pfizer also spread its wings into Japan by setting up a microbiology laboratory in Nagano, and in 1995, it expanded into other Eastern countries, including China and Dalian.

Pfizer Expands Product Range In the Twentieth Century

One of Pfizer's admirable qualities is its constant investment in research and development, through which it has been able to introduce many drugs to the market. 

It wasn't any different in the late twentieth century - during the last half of the century, Pfizer introduced a series of medications, which would become major sources of revenue for the company to this day.

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In 1950, Pfizer introduced its first pharmaceutical that resulted from the company's discovery program. 

This broad-spectrum antibiotic, dubbed "Terramycin", marked the launch of Pfizer's Pharmaceutical SalesForce. The responsibility of this division was to create awareness about Pfizer's products in relevant markets, including physicians and wholesale business owners. 

Eight specially-trained men were chosen for this task and interestingly, Pfizer's focus on quality over quantity paid off well! Today, Pfizer's marketing is recognized as the best in its industry.

Along with the sales force, Pfizer also launched an Agricultural Division in 1952. This marked the beginnings of its interest in animal health care. The division was involved in researching solutions for animal healthcare problems, along with growing the required materials for medication on Pfizer's 700-acre farm in Indiana.

From 1967 onwards, the company began to introduce other new medications such as Vibramycin and in 1971, Pfizer established the Central Research Division, which would lead to the development of even more products. Realizing the array of benefits of research in the field, the company further went on to increase its research budget from 5 percent to 15-20% of sales.

As a result of its investment in research, Pfizer was able to introduce medications for several diseases such as high blood pressure, diabetes, angina, depression, and skin infections. One of its most successful products was Feldene, introduced in 1980. It was an anti-inflammatory medication that yielded around a billion US dollars in sales. In 1998, Pfizer had another breakthrough with its anti-erectile dysfunction drug called Viagra. It was hailed as the company’s most popular drug and it continues to yield revenue in billions to this day.

Pfizer's appetite for developing new drugs was not satiated following the introduction of Viagra. Ever ambitious, the company went on to open a Discovery Technology Center in Massachusetts, which was solely dedicated to exploring different drug candidates. At this point, Pfizer's investment in research increased to $4 billion for the first time.

Key Takeaway #2: Invest Generously in Research & Development

Throughout its history, Pfizer remained committed to investing in research. Even when the investment was highly risky, the company took the leap of faith and trusted its ability to come up with better solutions for various diseases. This was apparent with its investment in deep-tank fermentation during the second world war.

The act of investing in R&D despite the risks goes to show the emphasis Pfizer laid on its research division. But why such a strong emphasis?

Well, the answer is in the numbers - through its research, the company developed many products such as Viagra and Feldene which would go on to produce more than a billion dollars in revenue annually. The investments, in other words, ensured that the company was able to come up with cutting-edge medical solutions, which would eventually help them dominate the market.

Pfizer’s Commitment to Global Healthcare

Apart from its keen focus on R&D and its rapid expansion, Pfizer understood the need to provide medications to those who needed them the most. 

As a result, profit was not the only motive that spurred Pfizer's leaders - over the course of its years, Pfizer launched many programs that would assist the underprivileged in battling deadly diseases.

Pfizer Putting its Money Where Its Mouth Is

In 2000, Pfizer collaborated with the government of South Asia to develop the Diflucan Partnership Program.

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This program catered to the endemic in the country by providing Diflucan - a medicine that was used to treat two fungal infections that arose from HIV/AIDS - free of charge to government and non-government organizations. The provision of this medication was not limited to South Africa but was also offered to any country with more than a 1% prevalence of HIV/AIDS.

The program was hugely successful as its fruits were reaped by almost 63 countries in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, and Latin America. Furthermore, the program also ensured that the local healthcare professionals were well-equipped to prescribe the medication and manage the patient, by providing program materials and other required information about the disease. By 2010, South Africa, alone, had distributed over 35 million treatments of Diflucan!

Continuing its work on AIDS beyond the program, Pfizer established a training center on a university campus in Uganda in 2001. As we can see, Pfizer was not stingy with its information and was more than willing to ensure that professionals all around the world were able to benefit from it.

The company also turned its attention toward low-income people in the United States by introducing The Pfizer for Living Share Card Program. This card would qualify low-income Americans to acquire one month's worth of medication at a flat rate of $15. The program turned out to be a huge success and by 2004, almost five million prescriptions were filled through it!

Similarly, in 2004, Pfizer also launched Pfizer Helpful Answers, which allowed uninsured Americans to obtain medications free of cost or at a significant discount.

Pfizer recognized that a lack of medications in poor-income families and developing countries wasn't the only issue. The delivery of these healthcare supplies, too, was essential. As a result, in 2006, Pfizer tackled the issue by partnering with Grameen Health, to research efficient models for healthcare delivery in developing countries.

In the following years, Pfizer continued to work on providing healthcare facilities to low-income Americans, and those in need outside America. Where required, the company would focus on particular diseases which were endemic in developing countries, such as Malaria. 

Other than that, Pfizer would also partner with international and local organizations to improve global healthcare. For example, in 2009, Pfizer signed an agreement with two Indian pharmaceutical companies to enhance healthcare availability throughout the world. An added benefit of this agreement was the addition of non-Pfizer products to its portfolio.

Research & Development Remains A Hall Mark In Pfizer’s Strategy

Pfizer’s interest in developing new drugs and identifying better treatments for its patients singled it out as one of the most successful pharmaceutical companies. 

As discussed above, the company invested large sums of money in this endeavor. This didn’t change during the early 2000s.

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Examples proving Pfizer's commitment to research are scattered throughout its history. For instance, in 2000, the company funded the construction of one of the largest buildings in the world and devoted it to the discovery of new drugs/treatments for humans and animals alike. 

By 2003, Pfizer's investment in R&D amounted to $7.1 billion, which was almost a 40% increase from the previous year's investment in the sector.

The company also partnered with different organizations whenever possible to expand its research. For example, in 2008, Pfizer partnered with Medivation to develop medication for Alzheimer's and Huntington's disease.

In the same year, Pfizer launched a global research unit that would investigate the biology of stem cells and the opportunities that the cells could provide to prevent disabilities.

However, as the years progressed, the company soon felt a need to structure its departments and organize them to increase efficiency. In 2009, therefore, Pfizer created two distinct research organizations. 

The first, the PharmaTherapeutics Research & Development Group, was devoted to the discovery of small molecules. The second, the BioTherapeutics Research & Development Group, garnered its attention towards large-molecule research. The latter included development of vaccinations. Later in 2010, Pfizer announced another diversified R&D platform, which would build on existing research globally. It was titled "Pfizer Worldwide Research and Development".

As we saw above, Pfizer was aware of the factors involved in better healthcare apart from the provision of medication. That was why it tried to develop better delivery models. Similarly, in 2009, Pfizer collaborated with Private Access to create an online community, which would increase clinical trial awareness and participation. The company understood the need for awareness regarding medical research, which would, in the end, lead to better healthcare for its customers.

Pfizer’s Expansion Strategies

As we saw above, Pfizer was committed to developing new drugs. Therefore, research was the biggest part of the company’s expansion plan. It was through this very research that Pfizer was able to expand its portfolio, by introducing a large range of medications.

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For example, in 2002, the company launched Vfend, which was used for the treatment of fungal infections, and in the subsequent year, it launched Relpax, which was useful for migraines. In 2004, Pfizer launched another breakthrough drug, which would be the first single pill that could simultaneously treat high blood pressure and high cholesterol. 

A large list of medications followed in the ensuing years, including drugs for cancer, infections, and HIV/AIDS. The company even launched a medicine that would help adults stop smoking!

Pfizer's portfolio of products and services was not limited to drugs. The company was interested in assuring professionals and patients alike about medicinal safety. Therefore, it launched an online site in 2007 which provided up-to-date information about medicine's safety, effectiveness, and optimal dosage. 

The site also translated complex medical studies regarding these drugs into layman's information to help patients understand the nature of the drugs they were taking.

Apart from diversifying its products and services, Pfizer also acquired related companies, which would add to its repository of medications. For example, in 2000 the company acquired Warner-Lambert. In 2003 and 2009, Pfizer acquired Pharmacia and Wyeth respectively. 

All three of these were pharmaceutical companies that would benefit Pfizer in the long run, along with increasing its market share. Indeed, in 2004, Pfizer was included in the Dow Jones stock index, which ranks the 30 biggest publicly listed companies in the USA.

Key Takeaway #3: Commit to Your Cause

Pfizer's commitment to healthcare was not limited to the number of drugs and vaccinations it was able to sell. The countless programs launched by the company to spread healthcare to all those who needed it are proof of that.

What's even more surprising is that beyond providing drugs and medication to lower-income populations, Pfizer also tackled areas not directly related to their product range, such as the development of healthcare delivery models.

Furthermore, the company constructed research centers not just in its mother country, but all over the world. Research, once again, was the key to Pfizer's success, and realizing that the company continued to invest even larger amounts into its research sector. All these examples show Pfizer's commitment to its aim of improving global healthcare. For a company to have a good reputation, its aims and goals must match its actions.

Pfizer Diversifying its Product Portfolio To Win

From 2010 onwards, Pfizer was engaged in a series of mergers, takeovers, and partnerships which would increase its customer outreach and generate more sales.

The Mergers, Takeovers, and Restructuring Of Pfizer

As mentioned in the previous chapter, Pfizer had already acquired various companies by 2010, including Wyeth and Pharmacia Corporation. 

The company, thus, was wary of the organizational issues that might arise from the expansion. In an attempt to ensure the smooth organization of the business, the leaders of Pfizer made necessary structuring decisions. 

For example, in 2011, the company sold its Capsugel unit, which specialized in capsules, to KKR to focus on its higher profit-generating units. In 2012, the company also shifted its animal health unit to Zoetis, which was its subsidiary business and had gone public in the same year.

Moreover, in 2014, Pfizer made other internal changes, separating its commercial operations into three segments. It distinguished between the innovative and valuable business lines. There is something to be said about the fact that it had two innovative business lines, once again showing its emphasis on research.

In the same year, Pfizer also acquired Baxter International, which would expand its range of vaccinations. The following year, the company entered into a merger agreement with Hospira, which would improve its global reach, especially with regard to sterile injectable pharmaceuticals.

In 2016, Pfizer collaborated with Watson Health for research in immuno-oncology. This was a strategic decision considering the wealth of technological resources owned by the latter business.

In the following year, Pfizer announced yet another collaboration with Corning Incorporated. This partnership would allow Pfizer to modernize pharmaceutical packaging through the use of pharmaceutical glass. This special glass enhances the storage of drugs, therefore, providing prolonged and reliable access to medications.

In 2018, Pfizer announced another research partnership, this time with BioNTech. Both companies would conduct research on influenza vaccines. The partnership would prove to be quite fruitful during the Covid-19 pandemic, as we will see later.

2019 was a year of several mergers and takeovers. Pfizer acquired Therachon, which would help it tackle rare conditions such as achondroplasia. Similarly, the company also acquired Array Biopharma (an acquisition of $10.6 billion!), thereby, increasing its expertise in oncology. Lastly, the company also merged with GlaxoSmithKline - another healthcare company - which would then open the doors to negotiations with other companies such as Reckitt Benckiser, Procter & Gamble, etc.

In the following two years, Pfizer also acquired CStone Pharmaceuticals, Arixa Pharmaceuticals, Reverse Morris Trust, Amplyx Pharmaceuticals, and Trillium Therapeutics. You can probably guess by all these names that these were all pharmaceutical companies, which once again, helped increase Pfizer's product range.

How Had Pfizer Done In The Recent Past?

Before moving on to Pfizer's response to Covid-19, it's fitting to talk about its vaccine development and delivery system prior to the pandemic.

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Pfizer was continuously adding to its portfolio of vaccines through its extensive research. Several research centers were dedicated to investigating rare diseases and potential vaccinations that could be developed for them. 

For example, in 2018, Pfizer developed two important vaccines for Meningococcal Disease and ensured that they would be delivered to countries where demand was high.

According to Pfizer’s representatives, the company was working on increasing access to vaccines globally, especially during the critical “last mile” delivery. They were committed not just to packing off the vaccines from their factories, but to ensuring that the vaccines actually reached the affected people.

Their work on drone deliveries is an excellent example of this commitment. In 2019, Pfizer partnered with Zipline and a few other companies, to help the Government of Ghana build the infrastructure required for drone delivery of vaccinations. This delivery would then provide 150 vaccines and lifesaving medications to around 2000 medical facilities.

Pfizer Responds to Covid-19 Decisively!

Pfizer's greatest contribution in these troubling times was, of course, the development of its vaccine, which was created with the help of its partner BioNTech. In early 2022, Pfizer developed another vaccine called "Paxlovoid" and it plans to produce 120 million courses of the vaccine this year.

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Considering Pfizer’s history of its global contribution to healthcare, it should come as no surprise that the company partnered with numerous international government and non-government organizations during this time. 

Not only that, the company even donated around $40 million in terms of both medical supplies and cash to countries requiring assistance.

The company did not ignore its local population in the USA. For the duration of the crisis, Pfizer adapted features of the Pfizer Patient Assistance Program for all patients. These features would simplify the process of prescription and medical support. For example, Pfizer approved telehealth prescribing as part of the program.

As always, Pfizer thought beyond vaccinations and started a new Global Covid-19 Medical Service Program. This program would equip professionals with resources to combat the virus; doctors would receive diagnostic and public health support, along with informational resources to treat their patients in an optimal way.

Key Takeaway #4: Think Beyond Your Initial Product

Pfizer started as a simple pharmaceutical company, its first product being a drug designed to combat intestinal worms. As the years progressed, the company didn't just add drugs and medications to its portfolio, but it also innovated in terms of delivery and packaging to ensure the best possible experience for its consumers.

For example, Pfizer’s collaboration with Corning allowed it to adopt one-of-a-kind packaging, which would increase the life of the packaged drugs and preserve their quality.

Furthermore, the company also focused on adopting better delivery models. In fact, this seemed to be a constant concern. Therefore, Pfizer collaborated with Zipline to introduce drone delivery in Ghana, which would be speedier and more efficient than any other delivery model.

Therefore, it’s important to look not just at your initial product, but at the products and services that hold your initial product together and make it profitable.

Pfizer Today and Strategic Takeaways

Pfizer is a force to be reckoned with in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry today so much so that people around the globe rely on it to ensure their health and happiness. The company, owing to its commitment, determination, and hard work, has continued to scale up despite the odds stacked against it.

It is said that a company’s mission and vision define where it’s heading and act as a focal point to align everyone within the organization to pursue a higher goal. As such, let's review the mission and vision of Pfizer to better understand the company.

Pfizer’s Mission

The mission of Pfizer is to provide sustainable value to all its stakeholders as evident from its mission statement:

“Become the world's most valued company to patients, customers, colleagues, investors, business partners, and the communities where we work and live.”

Pfizer’s Vision

The vision of Pfizer is to harness the power of innovation to bring about positive and enduring change in people’s lives as evident from its vision statement:

“Innovate to bring therapies to patients that significantly improve their lives.”

Pfizer’s Growth by Numbers

Year

2021

2013

Revenue

$81.2 billion

$51.5 billion

Profit

$21.9 billion

$15.2 billion

Share Price

$59.0

$29.1

Total Assets

$181.4 billion

$170.4 billion

Pfizer’s growth journey offers an array of powerful lessons for organizations and individuals. 

Some of the key takeaways are as follows:

Be Opportunistic To Say Ahead

Pfizer made its way into the local pharmaceutical market by defeating giant foreign competitors. Considering its humble beginnings, it comes as quite a shock that the company was able to come so far.

What the company did was keep its eyes peeled for opportunities. For example, during the Civil War, Pfizer saw that its foreign competitors had lost their edge due to the imposition of tariffs. Taking advantage of this, the company immediately began to refine tartars, a market previously dominated by these very competitors.

Similarly, when demand for soft drinks hiked, the company jumped at the opportunity to produce the basic raw ingredient required to produce them. What’s more is that Pfizer identified fermentation, a relatively new technology, as its recipe for success and committed itself to mastering it.

In both cases, Pfizer surveyed the already-existing situation, identified the gaps, and filled them before anyone else could.

Research Equals Revenue

Each year, the amount allocated to Pfizer’s research division rose dramatically. This was because the company understood that its extensive research was one of the major reasons for its success.

It was through its research that Pfizer was able to develop many groundbreaking medications such as Feldene and Viagra. It was also through its research that the company developed the well-known Covid-19 vaccination, which would have a 90% success rate.

The main takeaway here is that investing in research to develop new products always pays off.

Walk the Last Mile with Your Customers

As we saw, Pfizer's commitment to global healthcare did not end with manufacturing the drugs. The company concerned itself with the actual outreach of its medication and contributed greatly to the transportation models required for efficient delivery. Hence, Pfizer collaborated with relevant people to develop such models and even partnered with Zipline to deploy drones in Ghana.

Indeed, the company did prove that it supported its customers till the critical “last mile”.

Give Customers a Holistic Experience 

As we saw, Pfizer went beyond manufacturing and paid attention to the delivery of its products as well. Similarly, the company also took steps to improve its packaging, thereby preserving the drugs and medications it delivered for a longer time.

Pfizer went one step ahead of delivery and packaging by developing a Medical Safety website as well. Covering all aspects of the experience of taking medication, the company ensured that its customers didn’t just have the most effective medicine, but that it also had the available information to use it optimally.

Over the course of 170 years and counting, Pfizer has grown exponentially to become the world’s premier pharmaceutical and biotechnology company. What makes the company a resounding success story is its ability and commitment to developing innovative healthcare products to cure and treat some of the most feared diseases of our time. Through extensive R&D, capitalizing on opportunities, eagerness to improve human lives, and delight its customers, Pfizer has carved out its own unique pathway to success.

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