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Pfizer SWOT & PESTLE Analysis

ID : 5281753| Dec 2019| 15 pages


Business Sector :Pharma

Operating Geography :North America, USA, Global

About Pfizer :

Pfizer Inc. is an American pharmaceutical giant headquartered in Midtown Manhattan, New York City. It was founded in 1849 by Charles Pfizer and Charles F. Erhart. Pfizer is into research, development and production of drugs and vaccines, and has nine broad operating divisions. This research-based, global biopharmaceutical company, involves in discovery, development and manufacture of healthcare products. Our global portfolio includes medicines and vaccines, as well as many of the world’s best-known consumer healthcare products. The Company manages its commercial operations through two business segments: Pfizer Innovative Health (IH) and Pfizer Essential Health (EH). IH focuses on developing and commercializing medicines and vaccines that improve patients' lives. IH therapeutic areas include internal medicine, vaccines, oncology, inflammation and immunology and rare diseases. EH includes legacy brands, branded generics, generic sterile injectable products, biosimilars and infusion systems. EH also includes a research and development (R&D) organization, as well as its contract manufacturing business.It is listed on the New York Stock Exchange, and its shares have been a component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average since 2004. The company has about 92,400 employees as of early 2019.

Pfizer Revenue :

US$53,646 million – FY ending 31st Dec 2018 (year-on-year growth 1%)
US$52,546 million – FY ending 31st Dec 2017 (year-on-year growth -1%)
US$52,824 million – FY ending 31st Dec 2016

Competitive Analysis of Pfizer

The SWOT analysis for Pfizer is presented below:
1. Strong brand name
2. Extensive portfolio with several bestselling drugs
3. Focus on R&D and innovation
4. High profitability and huge cash reserves
1. Negative publicity due to tax scandals
2. Drug testing debacles
3. Allegations of illegal marketing
4. Failed mergers and acquisitions
1. Increasing awareness of health related issues in developing countries
2. Potential partnerships with governments
3. Collaborative R&D with pharmaceutical companies
1. Unfavourable patent laws
2. Stringent regulatory environment
3. Threat of drug-resistant strains in the future
4. Tough competition from generic drug makers
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Detailed SWOT Analysis of Pfizer



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1. Negative publicity due to tax scandals: Pfizer had been involved in several scandals, the most recent being the issue of tax inversion to UK, which made the company cancel its ambitious plans to merge with an Irish drug company. The pharmaceutical behemoth Pfizer has also been accused of involvement in a series of paper transactions to create a A$936 million loss in Australia, due to a billion-dollar exercise in tax evasions.

2. Heavily dependent on US markets: According to the annual report of Pfizer, over 50% of its revenues are generated from the USA (53% in 2018, 50% in 2017 and 2016 fiscals), 7% to 8% contributed by Japan and China each and around 35% coming from other countries. With stringent drug regulation policies and changing political landscape, this heavy dependency on American markets can prove to be quite risky wherein Pfizer should look at expanding its footprint and revenue streams from international markets.

3. Drug testing debacles: Pfizer has had several cases of failed or scrapped drug tests, and FDA interventions due to breach of regulations. In a notable incident in 2011, Pfizer had to pay compensation of $175,000 each to parents of four Nigerian children who were meningitis drug trial victims. In 2011, Dimebon drug for Alzheimer's disease failed in a Phase III trial involving patients suffering from mild to moderate symptoms of the disease.

4. Allegations of illegal marketing: Pfizer has been involved in several cases of illegal marketing of drugs for purposes other than the intended purposes. In 2009, Pfizer had to pay an enormous $2.3 billion for illegally marketing its painkiller Bextra. In 2013 Pfizer’s Wyeth unit has to pay $491 million for illegal marketing of the kidney transplant drug Rapamune which was being used in other organ transplants. In Feb, 2019, The U.S pharma giant was caught up in yet another storm of speculations when it proposed to tie up with IMCR (Indian Council of Medical Research) for work on anti-microbial resistance (AMR) due to questions raised over conflict of interest. The whistle blower alleged Pfizer of aggressively peddling drugs and drug consumption that would lead to anti-microbial resistance. On the other hand, tracking drug resistance and reducing its levels can keep patients functioning as customers, boosting sales of these pharmaceuticals. There have been several other instances globally where Pfizer has been charged in illegal marketing cases, damaging its reputation.

5. Failed mergers and acquisitions: Pfizer has had enormous inorganic growth, but not all of the mergers and acquisitions in the past have been profitable for the company. Further the potential changes in the corporate tax structure in the United States have prevented the company from pursuing any major M&A deals. Pfizer’s $160 billion merger with Allergan which was to take place in 2016 was called off due to uncertain implications regarding tax benefits. In 2014, Pfizer rescinded its attempt to buy AstraZeneca for approximately 70 billion pounds ($118 billion) almost at the eleventh hour before the deal closing deadline due to major fears raked up by the UK Government over job security.


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Check Out Analysis of Other Relevant Companies

References used in Pfizer Analysis Report

1. Pfizer Q1 results 2019 -

2. Pfizer company profile -

3. Pfizer ‘s top products based on revenue -

4. Pfizer Mission -

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SWOT & (2020). Pfizer SWOT & PESTLE Analysis - SWOT & [online] Available at: [Accessed 11 Jul, 2020].

In-text: (SWOT &, 2020)

Copyrights and Disclaimer

Pfizer SWOT and PESTLE analysis has been conducted by Neeraja R Venu and reviewed by senior analysts from Barakaat Consulting.

Copyright of Pfizer SWOT and PESTLE Analysis is the property of Barakaat Consulting. Please refer to the Terms and Conditions page for usage guidelines.

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