27 January 2022 |

Pfizer Kicked Butt in 2021

By workweek

Pfizer raked in $81B in revenue last year, nearly doubling its revenue from 2020 (link). You don’t have to be a mad scientist to guess what drove Pfizer’s revenue: sales from Comirnaty (Covid-19 vaccine) and Paxlovid (Covid-19 antiviral).

The Deets

Pfizer reached $36.8B in Comirnaty sales in 2021—a world record for any drug or vaccine. AbbVie’s Humira takes second place with $21B in annual sales. These sales numbers don’t surprise me, considering Comirnaty is a behemoth of a Covid-19 vaccine, eating up 70% of the Covid-19 vaccine market share. In Q4 alone, Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine brought in $12.5B, more than half of the company’s total revenue for the quarter.

Additionally, the company’s antiviral Paxlovid was approved towards the end of December 2021 and brought in $76M for the quarter—not too shabby for less than one month on the market.

Looking Ahead

Even though Covid-19 may seem to be slowing down here in the U.S., it doesn’t seem like it will slow down Pfizer’s revenue. The company expects between $98B and $102B in revenue this year, with the Comirnaty bringing in $32B and Paxlovid bringing in $22B.

Pfizer has a true stranglehold over Covid-19 with its prevention and intervention therapeutics—a recipe for saving lives and making money. Last year in the U.S., vaccines prevented over 1M lives and over 10M hospitalizations (link), saving the U.S. economy $430B (link).

Pfizer also looks to double down on its mRNA technology by developing vaccines for shingles and the flu and additional therapeutics for rare liver, muscle and central nervous system diseases (link).

My Thoughts

As someone who’s going into a career in medicine and appreciates the innovative side of healthcare, I admire Pfizer. The company is a prime example of how a pharmaceutical company pounces on a challenging opportunity to use scientific innovations to develop life-savings therapeutics. Making a boatload of revenue from such innovations is also great, but saving lives is better.