For years Pfizer has been a major face of the pharmaceutical industry and this multinational corporation has seen much success since the time of its inception in 1849. Across the globe the annual revenue for prescription drugs totals over 900 billion dollars, with Pfizer heading the charge; its shares are firmly seated within the Dow Jones stock market index.
Pharmacy is the term given to the scientific components behind the preparation and dispensation of both prescription drugs and medicines. With the merger of both health and chemical sciences, this centuries old profession exists to ensure the safe and well-managed application of medicinal products. These chemical substances are compounded either solitarily, or in conjunction with other similarly active substances to produce a product that can be commercially marketed for internal or external applications. Their primary use entails being prescribed as the result of a medical diagnosis for the curing, treatment or prevention of a disease.
The pharmaceutical industry is a segment of the economy responsible with the development, production, and marketing of pharmaceuticals. Through the distribution of both distinguished company products and the likened equivalents this established chain of commerce has thrived in providing licensed medications around the world. The operations of Pfizer span a wide range of medical disciplines, ranging from immunology and cardiology to neurology and endocrinology.
Pfizer was founded as a manufacturer of fine chemical substances by cousins Charles Pfizer and Charles Erhart. The company originated in New York, New York where their headquarters can still be found to this day. Throughout the 19th century Pfizer was responsible for numerous scientific advances, including the production of several successful medications. With the discovery of Ocytetracycline in 1950, Pfizer was able to transition forward from a chemical manufacturer to a research-based pharmaceutical corporation. Following this success, Pfizer participated in a series of acquisitions that allowed them to experience large amounts of growth, both in sales revenue and their roster of commercially available products. These actions would ultimately work to secure Pfizer a primary face behind the pharmaceutical industry, despite numerous setbacks which are not uncharacteristic of such a large business entity.
Throughout the course of a decade Pfizer was implicated and convicted in four separate cases involving health care fraud. The case in which the corporation was convicted for the illegal marketing of the drugs Lyrica, Geodon, Zyvox, and Bextra is still the largest civil settlement against a pharmaceutical company. The case centered on allegations claiming Pfizer endorsed the products for unapproved treatment uses as outlined by the United States Food and Drug Administration. In the end, the company pleaded guilty to all charges and paid out over $3 billion in fines and settlement fees.
On a contrary note, Pfizer has recently announced that they have completed the randomized mid-stage trials for their breast cancer drug. The trials show significantly positive improvements while the promising data grants hope for a higher standard of care for post-menopausal women who suffer from advanced stage breast cancer. Despite controversy and other negativity surrounding the company, it is scientific advances such as these that warrant the strong positioning of Pfizer as a face for the pharmaceutical industry.
Written by Darrell Purcell