Pfizer is an American multinational pharmaceutical company and it is one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies. Its total revenue by the end of 2020 is $47.644 and was ranked at 64th position on the list of 2020 Fortune 500 U.S. corporations.
According to Forbes, Pfizer Inc. is the 49th-largest public company in the world. Till 4th Feb 2021, it had a total market capitalization of $194 billion. Pfizer was started way back in 1849 by two German-American entrepreneurs.
Initially, it was started for fine chemicals, but later it grew as a world-leading pharmaceuticals company. Now they manufacture market and distribute more than 312 drugs all over the world. 2018 was not a good year for Pfizer, as it got scrutinized for raising the prices of the best-selling products.
In the year 2020, covid hit the whole world, and Pfizer was the first company to get its vaccine granted emergency use by Food and Drug Administration.
1. Pfizer Started in Brooklyn, New York
It was started by two cousins Charles Pfizer and Charles Erhart in the 1800s. The very first capital invested in this company was $2,500 that Pfizer borrowed from his father. The first name of the company was Charles Pfizer & Company.
Its main office was operated in a red brick building located in Williamsburg, a neighborhood in Brooklyn, New York. It still has its headquarter in New York City.
2. First Product and Innovation
Its first formulated product was in 1849 and it was an antiparasitic drug. It was used in the treatment of intestinal worms. Both the cousins naturally blended santonin with flavoring agents and shaped it into a candy cone.
It launched its first domestic production of cream of tartar and tartaric acid and that was used heavily in the food and chemical industries. This company also supported Union in the civil war by expanding the production of tartaric acid and cream of tartar.
3. Pfizer and Citric Acid
In 1880, it started manufacturing citric acid with the help of concentrates of lime and lemon. Soft drink companies started using citric acid in the manufacturing of the drinks and hence the demand for citric acid grew, so as Pfizer.
4. Shift in Ownership and Incorporation
One of the two cousins, Erhart died on Dec. 27, 1891. He handed over his partnership to his son William Erhart, which was worth $250,000. Later, Pfizer bought all the 50% stake from Erhart and became the sole owner of the company.
After nine years, he filed a certificate of incorporation in New Jersey. He had issued 20,000 shares at a par value of $100 per share. But he held that company privately until 1942. After that, he issued 240,000 shares of common stock to the general public.
5. Stealing Drug Secrets
A nonprofit organization named Ischemia Research and Education Foundation filed a lawsuit against him in 2004. The complaint stated that Pfizer arranged a deal with the lead statistician of that organization, Ping Hsu, to provide data.
In addition, the research foundation stated that he stole trade secrets to develop Bextra, a pain medication. At the time of confrontation, it was found that they both have destroyed all the evidences that could have proven them guilty.
He not only stole the data but used it without any approval. On Dec. 24, 2008, a Santa Clara County jury ordered him to pay $38 million fine for stealing that data.
6. Lobbying Expenses
This company is considered to be one of the top pharmaceutical lobbying spenders and spends money lobbying for corporate tax cuts, among other political topics. JAMA Internal Medicine stated that Pfizer spent $219 million in lobbying expenses and $23 million in campaign contributions between 1999 and 2018.
Though all lobby expenses are primarily spent on health and tax issues, in 2015 and 2016, its primary focus was on tax issues as the company promoted the U.S. tax reform.
7. Acquisitions and Mergers
Its first acquisition was in 1953. It took over J.B. Roerig & Company. They are specialized in manufacturing nutritional supplements. J.B. Roerig is a division of the company till now and plays an important role in the marketing segment of the main company.
Then comes 1955 and a new merger with Japanese drug company Taito. It manufactures and distributes antibiotics. This partnership lasted for 30 years and then Pfizer took the full ownership of Taito.
Then it acquired a company called Mack Illertissen. It was a German pharmaceutical company that produces chemical and consumer products for german consumers. In 2000 it acquired a new company named Warner-Lambert for over $90 billion.
This merger grew Pfizer’s global presence and an increased product line. It includes a popular pharmaceutical product, Listerine mouthwash. Its latest acquisition is Array BioPharma Inc. for $48 per share in cash.
In May 2020, Pfizer began its testing for four different vaccination variations. It expanded human trials to thousands of patients by September 2020. The company given doses of the potential vaccine. It was developed by the German biotechnology company BioNTech.
It is expected to deliver millions of doses by July 2021. In November 2020, Pfizer announced that its vaccine is 95% effective. It got its emergency use authority in December 2020. It also introduced a new logo in January 2021.