Pfizer and the Challenges of the Global Pharmaceutical Industry 2013 (B)

Renate Kratochvil, Phillip Christopher Nell

Research output: Other contributionTeaching case


This is part of a case series. The overall case focuses on the overall pharmaceutical market, such as industry structure and trends, as well as the strategic position of innovative (R&D intensive) pharmaceutical companies. Case A starts with a description of Pfizer struggling to hold its position as an industry leader and questions whether this is indicative for the current developments of the entire industry, putting big pharmaceutical companies’ power and influence under pressure. Such trends are, for example, slower sales growth, expiring patents, increasing competition from generics, shorter product life cycles, tighter regulations, adverse media coverage and reputational damage, and a stagnation in the number of new innovative drugs under development. The case also covers a description of the customer/consumer segment, the R&D process of the industry as well as its effects on sales price and profits. In addition, the patent process is described, including a discussion on important changes in product forms from prescription drugs, generics and innovative forms. Throughout the case text, competition and recent industry developments are described too. Case B complements Case A by emphasising pharmaceutical companies’ (and in particular Pfizer's) strategic moves (such as mega M&As) to conquer recent trends. The reader is then referred back to Pfizer's situation, its recent strategic initiatives, and competitor’s behaviour. Both cases feature comprehensive information and a large number of tables with quantitative data, which can be used to analyse the pharmaceutical industry as well as Pfizer's strategy.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2017
Place of PublicationCranfield
PublisherCase Centre
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Bibliographical note

CASE - Reference no. 313-299-1


  • Industry environment
  • Industry evolution
  • Industrial organisation
  • Pharmaceutical industry
  • Corporate strategy

Cite this