Pfizer's 13,000 scientists and support staff develop next-generation medicines for cancer, mental illness, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and autoimmune disorders.
Pfizer was founded in 1849 on Bartlett Street in Brooklyn. Two immigrant cousins, chemist Charles Pfizer and confectioner Charles Erhart, combined their skills to produce santonin, an almond-flavored treatment for intestinal worms that became an immediate sensation. Pfizer was launched. From those humble beginnings, Pfizer has brought forth treatments that have transformed conditions such as cancer, heart disease and HIV/AIDS from virtual death sentences to chronic conditions that can be managed – and increasingly overcome.
Down through the decades, our commitment to the city that embraced us has never wavered. Although headquarters moved across the river in 1961 to its present location on East 42nd Street in Manhattan, Pfizer has never forgotten Brooklyn. We continue operating a major manufacturing plant there, and have invested millions of dollars in the surrounding neighborhood...
DR. JOSEPH M. FECZKO: PFIZER'S FUTURE IN NEW YORK
To be sure, challenges lie ahead as well as opportunities. There is simply no substitute for private life sciences research. Important as they are, government and academia cannot do it all. Nearly 19 out of 20 new medicines put into the hands of doctors emerge from companies such as Pfizer, which takes tremendous pride in the power of its drug discovery efforts. But, as the story of penicillin illustrates, discovery is the first step in a very long process that delivers new medicines to patients in need. Technical challenges confront scientists from the laboratory, through the clinic and into manufacturing, where new ways must be found to mass produce our inventions. That's where a company such as Pfizer truly comes into its own. Our company and New York City and State can continue to be global leaders in the exciting quest for future cures. But Pfizer and other medical innovators depend on public policies that support high-risk, long-term pharmaceutical research and development and provide fair reimbursement for innovative medical products. A Pfizer medicine takes 10 to 15 years to develop, and requires an investment of $800 to $1.6 billion to put into the armamentarium of physicians. That kind of commitment can only take place in an environment that values biomedical research and development, and where policymakers understand that "the patient is waiting."
In far less time than has passed since Pfizer's "miracle of penicillin," we will begin our third century of partnership with New York City. With the proper environment, one in which biomedical research can flourish, there is no reason why Pfizer cannot continue to bring healthcare and economic benefits, not just to New Yorkers, but to all people worldwide.