Is Pfizer the Miser or is Pfizer the Wiser?

In that tongue twisting title, the writer asks the reader to think for a moment about each side of an ongoing debate concerning Pfizer and its #1 selling ED drug, Viagra (Sildenafil). Depending on which side you choose, either Pfizer is a megalith that cannot be stopped, or a company that uses its power and clout to make the lives of millions of humans around the world just a little better.

Revenue

In an article for the CNN Money by John Simons, he states that Pfizer, the largest drug company in the world, has managed to stay competitive and high on earnings. According to the report, Fortune 500 named Pfizer a “35-billion dollar a year business”. Revenue that year actually increased to 48 billion. Viagra is a leading prescription drug for Pfizer, but certainly not the only one. Other names appear on their drug short list, such as Zoloft, Zyrtec, and Zithromax. Mr. Simon states that those and the other big hitters on the list are seeing double-digit sales increases. (CNNMoney, 2013)

Staying ahead of the pack

Pfizer, who has Levitra and other erectile dysfunction drugs chomping at the bit to crack the market wide open, has developed a new strategy. In addition to the competition from other ED drug makers, Pfizer faces rigorous battles with online pharmacies and the like. To counteract that pendulum swing, Pfizer announced in May that it would begin selling its flagship Viagra via its own website. They may have hit gold again, because one the story leaked, it was one of the most viewed on the LA Times website (Whtfield, 2013) According to Mr. Whitfield, Pfizer further stated that only 3% of the online pharmacies were legitimate, and that deplorable conditions existed in most and the inactive ingredients ranged from printer ink to wall board.

The good news in all of this

Laura Petrecca of USA Today reported that in May of 2009, Pfizer offered to cover the cost of up to 70 of its most popular medications to those who were unemployed and could not afford their meds. (Petrecca, 2009) If you recall, 2009 was a time when the nation suffered severe monetary uncertainty and unemployment was close to all new highs. Although Pfizer is a billion dollar heavy hitter, it is because of that status that Pfizer was able to help when times got bad for its customers.