Pfizer is one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies producing popular products, including Lipitor, Zithromax, Effexor, and Zoloft. Despite recent lawsuits, Pfizer earns billions of dollars each year manufacturing, marketing, and selling their medications.
Pfizer Incorporated is one of the world’s largest and most profitable pharmaceutical companies. Currently headquartered in New York City, they produce a wide array of products to combat conditions for a variety of medical disciplines including cardiology, oncology, immunology, and neurology.
Over the last ten years, Pfizer has faced increased litigation and expenses due to lawsuits but continues to earn billions in revenues for their most successful products including Lipitor, Lyrica, Diflucan, Zithromax, Viagra, and Celebrex.
Although Pfizer has had incredible success over the last several decades, the company has not been without its scandals and lawsuits. In fact, Pfizer was involved in one of the most costly pharmaceutical cases in 2002 when they were forced to pay an estimated $2.3 billion to settle civil and criminal allegations for Bextra. Pfizer’s legal troubles did not stop there. In fact, they later faced charges that they had illegally marketed several other drugs including Geodon, Zyvox, Nuerontin, Detrol, and Lyica. Several of the claims were settled but not without damaging Pfizer’s reputation.
Most recently Pfizer has faced lawsuits over Zoloft, a popular anti-depressant. Users of Zoloft have filed suit arguing that Pfizer failed to warn Zoloft users of serious side-effects of the medication, especially for pregnant women. Currently there are two hundred Zoloft users with pending Zoloft claims against Pfizer. Many of these users are charging that Pfizer failed to warn of the increased potential of birth defects from Zoloft use, including an increased risk of respiratory distress, anencephaly, craniosynostosis, heart defects, omphalocele, cleft lip, and cleft palate.
Today Pfizer is a billion dollar, international, pharmaceutical company. It was founded in 1849 in Brooklyn, New York, by two cousins Charles Pfizer and Charles Erhart. The company expanded during the Civil War producing products needed for the war effort, including iodine, morphine, chloroform, camphor, and mercurial. Pfizer’s contributions for war continued during World War II when they provided medications to soldiers. The company latter moved to Manhattan, New York, and by the early 1900’s had achieved success outside of the pharmaceutical market by creating and mass marketing citric acid which was used in Coca-Cola, Dr. Pepper, and Pepsi. By 1906, the company had revenues of more than $3 million dollars. By 1952, Pfizer had grown into an international company expanding into countries including Brazil, Mexico, England, Belgium, and Puerto Rico. Their expansion also included purchasing additional companies and increasing their efforts for research and development. Today, Pfizer continues to market and sell popular drugs for a variety of common ailments including high blood pressure, diabetes, depression, and antibiotics.
Effexor and Zoloft are two of Pfizer’s most successful products. Unfortunately, users are not always aware of the risks of using these products, especially while pregnant. In fact, recent studies indicate that antidepressants like SNRIs and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) can increase the risk that an infant will be born with birth defects. Not only does Effexor have significant risks for the unborn, Zoloft does as well. This has been devastating news for users. Pfizer has made billions of dollars selling Zoloft, and it is estimated that some 30 million people have filled prescriptions for this drug.
More recently, Pfizer is facing potential lawsuits from Zithromax users. Zithromax is an antibiotic which has also been linked to serious side-effects, such as an increased risk of cardiovascular death. In March 2013, the FDA issued a warning about Zithromax. Other concerns for Pfizer include potential lawsuits from users of the drug Lipitor, which has been linked to complications of the muscles, liver, and kidneys. They are also faced with decreased profits from their loss of their patent for Lipitor. Despite recent lawsuits and pending patent issues, experts acknowledge Pfizer is likely to continue to dominate the pharmaceutical industry because other medications, such as Celebrex and Lyrica, continue to earn billions of dollars for the company.