Taking stock of 2021, Pfizer is proud to show the highest revenue ever in the history of the pharmaceutical industry – no doubt about it.
For many years, Viagra, a remedy for erectile dysfunction, was the source of Pfizer’s main profit. But everything changed with the advent of the pandemic – the leaders of powerful states obediently stood in line to the President of Pfizer Albert Burle.
Today, the Pfizer vaccine is confidently the leader among all drugs sold in the world and does not intend to give up the “palm”. According to the most conservative estimates, the volume of sales over the past year will reach a record $ 36 billion, twice the income of its closest competitor Moderna. October figures are strong evidence that Pfizer has 74% of the vaccine market in the US and 80% in Europe.
At the same time, the company’s management has acquired an unheard-of significance and, I’m not afraid of this word, power. Too much depends on his decisions: the cost of vaccines, the primacy of countries in the queue to receive them (this also applies to booster doses), and the entire course of the pandemic and the economic revival of countries and continents, directly related to the success of the vaccination campaign.
The most interesting thing is that the activities of Pfizer, its plans and cooperation, are “sealed”. Nondisclosure signing, which is required from everyone, legal or natural persons, including scientists, has become a common practice. At the same time, the contracts are classified and censored.
The Financial Times spoke with many people involved in the process, including former and current employees of the company. Despite the widespread gratitude for the creation of an effective vaccine drug, many are blunt about concern about Pfizer’s unprecedented power. For example, Lawrence Gostine, professor of global health law at Georgetown University, notes:
I am not against “big farm” in general. I believe they created a miracle, a triumph of science. But to say that they exercise their power honestly, openly, and with compassion would be an outright lie.
The history of the emergence of an effective vaccine is also interesting. In fact, it was created in the BioNTech laboratory from Mainz, located on the banks of the Rhine. Back in late January 2020, Ugur Sakhin, director of BioNTech, learned about the emergence of a new coronavirus. A fan of mRNA technology, an immigrant from Turkey threw all the company’s resources into the invention of a vaccine. But … BioNTech had neither a stable income for this, nor its own, approved for sale, drugs. A partner was needed who would have sufficient funds to pay for scientific research. The choice fell on Pfizer, which has signed a joint venture agreement with Sahina.
Another interesting fact that a former US government official called the greatest marketing trick in the history of the pharmaceutical business is the name of the vaccine. It is known throughout the world as Pfizer, although it was developed by the specialists of BioNTech.
Unlike other pharmaceutical vaccine giants, Pfizer initially relied on the maximum profit from its drug – it was she who was engaged in commercialization of it worldwide. The company compares favorably with its closest competitors with its business acumen. As a result of successful developments, it was possible to reduce the production cycle from 110 to 31 days. As a result, production volumes increased significantly.
Back in January, the company planned to release 2 billion doses of the vaccine for the entire year. But by August its forecast had increased to 3 billion, and next year Pfizer plans to produce at least 4 billion doses. For comparison: AstraZeneca, out of the planned 300 million doses for the first half of this year, managed to deliver only 100 million to the European Union.
Pfizer gets the most from its business activities. Seeing her as a reliable partner, the European Union signed a grand deal with her to supply 1.8 billion doses of vaccine by 2023, that is, 5 times more than its closest competitor, Moderna, can supply. A little nuance. Rather than offering an EU discount for such a large order, Pfizer has increased the cost of the vaccine from the previously agreed 15.50 per dose to 19.50 euros. So what? But nothing. As the saying goes, “it’s nothing personal, it’s just business,” and Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, had to agree … By the way, vaccine prices for the USA and Great Britain also increased.
Jillian Kohler, head of the WHO Center for Shared Governance, Transparency and Accountability in the Pharmaceutical Sector, notes that Pfizer has always been characterized by business acumen, aggressive tactics and a commitment to maximizing profits at all costs. And now, with the practical absence of serious competitors, the pandemic allows you to dictate any conditions.
Pfizer plans to sell at least $ 29 billion worth of vaccine products for the coming 2022. And such a prediction is quite feasible, because the vaccine from Pfizer this year became the world’s best-selling drug.