Pfizer will reorganize commercial operations
NEW YORK (AP) Drugmaker Pfizer Inc. said Monday that it is reorganizing its commercial operations into three new units, with one division focused on products that are losing patent protection, one division that will handle drugs with years of patent protection remaining, and a third that will sell vaccines, cancer treatments, and consumer products.
Chairman and CEO Ian Read said the moves will help revitalize Pfizer's innovative capabilities, help it get more value from its consumer products and off-patent drugs, and improve its use of capital. The changes will start taking effect in January.
In April Read said continuing expirations of drug patents through 2015 will restrain Pfizer's revenue growth, but the world's largest drugmaker is trying to counteract the patent losses by launching several medicines and research to create new ones.
One business unit will focus on drugs with that have market exclusivity beyond 2015. It will market drugs that treat inflammation, immune diseases, cardiovascular and metabolic illnesses, neuroscience drugs, treatments for pain and rare diseases, and men's and women's health products.
Key products will include the rheumatoid arthritis pill Xeljanz, immune disorder drug Enbrel, anti-smoking drug Chantix, and the blood thinner Eliquis. The business will handle U.S. marketing of Pfizer's impotence drug Viagra and will market the pain treatment Lyrica outside of the European Union.
The company said Geno Germano, the current president of its innovative products unit, will be in charge of that business.
The second unit will include vaccines like Prevnar, which protects against pneumococcal disease; cancer drugs like Xalkori, Inlyta, Bosulif, and Sutent; and consumer products like the pain reliever Advil, Caltrate and Centrum vitamins, and Robitussin cold medicine. Amy Schulman, who is in charge of Pfizer's vaccines, oncology, and consumer health care business, will lead the division.
Pfizer said the third business will handle drugs that are "mature," or have low growth, and have either lost patent protection or will lose patent protection by 2015. Pfizer's biggest off-patent drugs include the cholesterol fighter Lipitor, antidepressant Pristiq, and Alzheimer's disease treatment Aricept. Other products that will soon face generic competition include its pain drug Celebrex and lung disease drug Spiriva.
The division will also handle marketing of Viagra outside of the U.S. and Canada, and it will sell generic versions of biotech drugs and handle current or future collaborations, including Pfizer's partnerships with Mylan Inc. in Japan, Teuto in Brazil, and Hisun in China. Pfizer said executive John Young will be president of the business.
Pfizer said the changes will take effect in January in countries that don't require consultation with unions. In countries where those consultations are required, the changes will be made after those processes are complete. The company said it will provide details on the expected sales and profit and losses in early 2014, when it reports its results for the first quarter of the year.
Shares of Pfizer rose 14 cents to $29.51 in morning trading.