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Pfizer SWOT & PESTLE Analysis

ID : 5281753| Dec 2018


Business Sector :Pharma

Operating Geography :North America, USA, Global

About Pfizer :

Pfizer is an American pharmaceutical giant headquartered in New York. 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.

Pfizer Revenue :

48.9 Billion USD - FY 2015

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


1. Strong brand name: Pfizer has a history of 160+ years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry with wide range of innovative high quality products and therefore, brand recall is considerably strong. The company in 2016 was involved in a corporate brand building exercise featuring real-life scientists who work in Pfizer labs to boost its reputation. Further, according to Interbrand Health release of 'Best Pharma Brands' in 2016 which ranked leading biopharma companies, Pfizer with a brand value of USD $19.985 billion has emerged as the leading biopharma brand ahead of Roche and Merck.

2. Extensive portfolio with several bestselling drugs: Pfizer has pioneered in the development as well as production of several best-selling, blockbuster drugs, such as Atorvastatin and Zoloft. Eliquis which Pfizer co-promotes with Bristol-Myers Squibb is a top selling oral anticoagulant in 12 countries. The company has a diverse and differentiated portfolio of products which has helped in strong revenue growth over the years. Further the company has 14 biosimilars in the pipeline as of 2016 which have an estimated potential to generate $17 – 20 billion globally over the next decade.

3. Extensive focus on R&D and innovation: Pfizer’s R&D focus has led to the existence of the large and ever-increasing number of patents to its credit. Pfizer spent $7.8 billion in R&D in FY16 which represents 14.7% of its revenues and is one of the highest amongst pharma companies. Further Pfizer has introduced innovation in its supply chain through Highly Orchestrated Supply Network (HOSuN) approach which uses information technology and predictive analytics to anticipate future demand and increase efficiency across the supply chain.

4. High profitability and huge cash reserves: Pfizer has historically been a huge profit maker with abundant cash reserves, and has grown inorganically as well as organically. Pfizer had an EPS $2.40 and had total cash reserves of $21.3 billion in 2016. The company has consistently delivered superior returns to its shareholders through share repurchases and dividends with returning $12.3 billion in FY16 and returning $90 billion to its shareholder since 2011.


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.

2. 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, Pfizer had to pay compensation of $175,000 each to parents of four Nigerian children who were meningitis drug trial victims.

3. 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. There have been several other instances globally where Pfizer has been charged in illegal marketing cases, damaging its reputation.

4. 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 has 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.

The unpublished sections of the entire Pfizer SWOT analysis is available in the 'Complete Report' on purchase.


[1] Pfizer home page:

[2] NY Times – Pfizer – Allergan merger:

[3] Money Control:

[4] Reuters:

[5] FDA:

[6] BBC:

[7] Bloomberg:

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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.

Pfizer SWOT & PESTLE Analysis
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