Pfizer, the world’s largest pharmaceutical company, has announced that it expects a significant drop in its sales of Covid-19 products in 2023, as the global demand for its vaccine and antiviral pill declines.
Covid-19 vaccine sales to fall by 64%
Pfizer told investors to expect revenue to decline in 2023 by as much as 33% to between $67 billion and $71 billion as the world emerges from the pandemic and demand for its blockbuster Covid drugs slows. Covid vaccines sales are projected to plummet by 64% this year to $13.5 billion from $37.8 billion in 2022.
The company said that the lower forecast was based on several factors, including the availability of competing vaccines, the emergence of new variants, the duration of immunity conferred by the shots, and the pace of booster campaigns around the world.
Pfizer’s CEO Albert Bourla said that the company was still confident in the long-term potential of its vaccine, which has been authorized in more than 100 countries and has been administered to over 2.5 billion people. He said that Pfizer was working on developing new formulations and delivery methods for its vaccine, as well as exploring opportunities in new markets and segments.
Paxlovid sales to drop by 58%
Pfizer also lowered its revenue expectations for its oral antiviral drug Paxlovid, which has shown to be highly effective in preventing hospitalization and death from Covid-19. The company said it expects to generate $8 billion from Paxlovid sales in 2023, down from $19 billion in 2022.
The company attributed the decline to the expected reduction in Covid-19 cases, as well as the competition from other antiviral pills, such as Merck’s molnupiravir and Roche’s atevir. Pfizer said it was still committed to making Paxlovid accessible and affordable to people around the world, and that it had signed agreements with several countries and organizations to supply the drug.
Pfizer’s chief financial officer Frank D’Amelio said that the company was prepared for the volatility and uncertainty of the Covid-19 market, and that it had a strong pipeline of other products and innovations that would drive its growth in the future.
Pfizer shares fall after earnings report
Pfizer’s shares fell by more than 4% on Tuesday after it released its fourth-quarter and full-year earnings report, which showed a lower-than-expected revenue and profit for the period. The company reported a revenue of $12.7 billion for the quarter, down 54% from the same quarter a year earlier, and a net income of $1.9 billion, down 87% from a year ago.
Analysts said that Pfizer’s results reflected the challenges of maintaining its dominant position in the Covid-19 market, as well as the impact of currency fluctuations and supply chain disruptions on its other businesses. They also said that Pfizer’s outlook for 2023 was conservative and cautious, given the unpredictability of the pandemic situation.
However, some analysts also praised Pfizer’s performance in 2022, when it achieved a record revenue of $100 billion, up 73% from 2021, and a net income of $25.4 billion, up 152% from a year ago. They said that Pfizer had demonstrated its ability to deliver innovative solutions for one of the biggest health crises in history, and that it had created a lasting value for its shareholders and stakeholders.