A Letter from Our Chairman & CEO
To Our Shareholders
2021 was a watershed year for Pfizer. A year in which we set all-time highs in all major areas of focus for our company.
- We reached an estimated 1.4 billion patients with our medicines and vaccines. That’s roughly one out of every six people on Earth. Never before has Pfizer’s patient impact been so wide-reaching.
- We initiated 13 pivotal clinical studies – the highest number ever for Pfizer.
- We increased our investments in Research & Development (R&D) from $8.9 billion in 2020 to $10.5 billion in 2021. 1
- And we grew revenues to $81.3 billion (reflecting 92% operational growth), Reported Diluted EPS to $3.85, and Adjusted Diluted EPS to $4.42. 2
During the year, we also continued to lead the battle against COVID-19. Throughout 2021, in collaboration with BioNTech, we brought our COVID-19 vaccine to more populations and further ramped up our manufacturing and distribution capabilities. As a result, the market share of our COVID-19 vaccine has continued to grow, representing 70% of all doses distributed across the U.S. and EU as of March 5, 2022.
Late in the year, our breakthrough oral treatment, Paxlovid™, became the first oral treatment for COVID-19 to receive an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) from the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA). As of March 7, 2022, Paxlovid had received emergency or conditional authorization for use with certain populations in more than 50 countries. We are continuing our discussions with governments and regulators as we endeavor to bring this potential game-changing treatment to patients around the world.
The success of our COVID-19 vaccine and treatment programs has not only made a positive difference in the world; I believe it has fundamentally changed our company and our culture forever. Colleagues across Pfizer are inspired by our achievements and more determined than ever to be part of the next breakthrough. And in a 2021 survey, 95% of our colleagues said they are proud to work for Pfizer, which ranks among the best in corporate America.
Our COVID-19 leadership also has fundamentally changed the way Pfizer is perceived externally by shining a light on the tremendous value our science can bring to society.
- We improved our ranking from fourth to second among large biopharma companies in the PatientView Global Survey.
- According to Morning Consult, 61% of Americans have a favorable view of Pfizer, which is up 33 points since January 2020.
- And just last month, Fortune ranked us fourth on its annual World’s Most Admired Companies list – the highest ranking we have ever achieved.
Moving at “Lightspeed” Across All Our Therapeutic Areas
While so much focus has been on our COVID-19 programs, we’ve never lost sight of the needs of other patients – patients whose needs are no less urgent. In fact, we are applying the “lightspeed” principles developed for our COVID-19 work to other therapeutic areas to help ensure we continue to move at the speed of science for the benefit of all our patients.
In 2021, our scientists’ focus and determination led to many potential life-changing discoveries. This included creating a “template” for helping cancer-fighting molecules break through the blood-brain barrier to target cancer that has spread to the brain; potential breakthroughs that seek to address the underlying causes of inflammatory skin diseases; and a potential treatment for a serious metabolic disease that leads to unintentional weight loss, muscle wasting, and fatigue. We are using our vaccine expertise in an effort to tackle tick-borne illnesses such as Lyme disease and expanding our mRNA platforms to study the potential of the technology in helping to prevent flu and shingles, and to treat rare genetic diseases of the liver, muscle, and central nervous system. And with our collaborator, Vivet Therapeutics, we advanced a gene therapy candidate designed to address the root cause of a rare genetic disorder called Wilson disease.
Pfizer’s ESG Strategy: Creating Value for Multiple Stakeholders
During 2021, we also further enhanced our commitment to Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) principles. Pfizer’s ESG strategy is focused on six areas where we see opportunities to create a meaningful and measurable impact over the next decade: product innovation; equitable access and pricing; product quality and safety; diversity, equity, and inclusion; climate change; and business ethics. We made great strides in each of these areas last year, and I would like to share three examples.
First, Pfizer last year published an industry-first retrospective analysis of demographic data of U.S. participants in 213 of our interventional clinical trials that initiated enrollment from 2011 through 2020. The analysis demonstrated that overall trial participation of Black or African American individuals was at the U.S. census level (14.3% vs. 13.4%), participation of Hispanic or Latino individuals was below U.S. census (15.9% vs. 18.5%), and female participation was at U.S. census (51.1% vs. 50.8%). We published this analysis to be transparent and for it to serve as a baseline as we measure progress in this area. Our goal is to achieve racially and ethnically diverse participation at or above U.S. census or disease prevalence levels (as appropriate) in all our trials. I would also point out that clinical trial diversity played an important role in our COVID-19 vaccine development program, where we ensured that historically underrepresented participants had access to our COVID-19 vaccine trials, and where we enrolled racially and ethnically diverse participants reflecting the patient population where the burden of disease has been higher.
Second, Pfizer has made significant progress in diversifying our colleague base, particularly at more senior-level positions. In the last three years, for example, we have increased the percentage of women at the vice president level and above globally from 32.3% at the end of 2018 to 41.5% at the end of 2021. Over that same timeframe, we have increased the percentage of minorities at the vice president level and above in the U.S. from 18.8% to 25%.
Third, we continue to make progress in helping to ensure our COVID-19 vaccine and oral treatment are accessible by everyone everywhere. I am thrilled to say that we remain on track to meet or exceed our goal of delivering at least two billion doses of our vaccine to low- and middle-income countries by the end of 2022 – having just met our goal of delivering the first one billion by the end of 2021. In terms of our oral COVID-19 treatment, we have signed a voluntary license agreement with the Medicines Patent Pool (MPP), which we hope will lead to expanded access, pending country regulatory authorization or approval, in 95 low- and middle-income countries that account for approximately 53% of the world’s population.
For details regarding the impact of our ESG strategy on our business in 2021, you can find Pfizer’s 2021 ESG Report here.
Positioned for Future Growth
Looking ahead, Pfizer is well positioned to continue to deliver meaningful value for patients, investors, and all stakeholders. This confidence is underpinned by the momentum of our business, the expected durability of our COVID-19 offerings, the strength of our internal R&D pipeline (which as of February 8, 2022 consisted of 89 potential new therapies and indications with 10 programs in registration and 27 in Phase 3 clinical trials), and, of course, by our ability to deploy capital into growth-focused business development to access external science.
Our business development focus largely will be in the therapeutic areas and platforms where we have the scientific skills and acumen to add substantial value and select the most successful targets. In addition, we feel that we have distinctive attributes such as world-class excellence in clinical development and unsurpassed manufacturing and commercial capabilities at scale that make us a very attractive partner for other life sciences companies.
In summary, 2021 saw Pfizer further cement its standing as a scientific and commercial powerhouse capable of taking on the world’s most devastating diseases. In a year of unprecedented challenges, we realized unprecedented achievements. We are grateful to the colleagues, clinical investigators, research institutions, partners, and, of course, patients who have made these breakthroughs possible, and we look forward to many more successes in the year ahead.
Thank you for your continued support of our important work.
Dr. Albert Bourla
Chairman & Chief Executive Officer
Emergency Use Authorization Statement
Paxlovid has not been approved, but has been authorized for emergency use by FDA under an EUA, for the treatment of mild-to-moderate COVID-19 in adults and pediatric patients (12 years of age and older weighing at least 40 kg) with positive results of direct SARS CoV-2 viral testing, and who are at high-risk for progression to severe COVID-19, including hospitalization or death.
The emergency use of Paxlovid is only authorized for the duration of the declaration that circumstances exist justifying the authorization of the emergency use of drugs and biological products during the COVID-19 pandemic under Section 564(b)(1) of the Act, 21 U.S.C. § 360bbb-3(b)(1), unless the declaration is terminated or authorization revoked sooner.
We encourage you to read our 2021 Annual Report on Form 10-K, which includes our audited consolidated financial statements as of and for the year ended December 31, 2021, and the sections captioned “Risk Factors” and “Forward Looking Information and Factors that May Affect Future Results,” for a description of the substantial risks and uncertainties related to the forward-looking statements included herein. Patient counts included herein are estimates derived from multiple data sources.
Investments in R&D = Adjusted R&D expenses. See footnote 2.
Operational revenue growth excludes the favorable impact of foreign exchange. For additional information on the company’s operational revenue performance, see the “Analysis of the Consolidated Statements of Income” in Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations in the 2021 Annual Report on Form 10-K. Adjusted income and Adjusted diluted EPS are defined as U.S. GAAP Net income attributable to Pfizer Inc. common shareholders and reported EPS attributable to Pfizer Inc. common shareholders––diluted before the impact of purchase accounting for acquisitions, acquisition-related items, discontinued operations and certain significant items. Adjusted research and development (R&D) expenses is an income statement line item prepared on the same basis as, and therefore a component of, the overall Adjusted income measure. See the “Non-GAAP Financial Measure: Adjusted Income” section of Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations in Pfizer’s 2021 Annual Report on Form 10-K for an explanation of how management uses these non-GAAP measures, reconciliations to the most directly comparable GAAP measures and additional information.