Pfizer announces commercial operations realignment into three business segments

July 30 2013 | By Márcio Barra

Pfizer announced yesterday that it will reorganize its commercial operations into three units, two focused on innovative drugs and a third comprising what Pfizer’s CEO Ian Read calls Pfizer’s “value” business, in a move that the company says it will help improve their ability to answer to different market’s dynamics.

The units are: Innovative Products Group, which will include therapeutics that are expected to have market exclusivity beyond 2015; Vaccines, Oncology and Consumer Healthcare, all three of which will operate as separate businesses; and Value, which comprises generic products and drugs that will soon lose their patent protection.

The Innovative Products Group will be led by Geno Germano, who has been overseeing the Specialty Care and Oncology unit until now. This division will generally include products across multiple therapeutic areas that are expected to have market exclusivity beyond 2015, including immunology, cardiovascular, neuroscience, rare diseases and Women’s /Men’s Health products.

Amy Schulman, the company’s general counsel who has previously been overseeing the Consumer Healthcare unit (home of Advil and Centrum, among others), will lead the Vaccines, Oncology and Consumer Healthcare products divisions.

John Young, the current president and general manager of the Primary Care Business Unit, will supervise the Value division, containing products that have already gone generic, as well as branded drugs set to go off patent through 2015. This unit will also deal with biosimilars, plus existing deals with generic drug makers like the one with Mylan.

Each of the three segments will include developed markets and emerging market segments. Thus, the current emerging markets unit will be eliminated in this reshuffle, with its current president, Olivier Brandicourt, leading the transfer of functions to each of the new units.

Since losing the patent of the Statin Blockbuster Lipitor, Pfizer has been under pressure from some on Wall Street to split off its Established Products divisions, for being unable to generate the same cash flow as the branded drugs divisions. This move comes after the company’s sold its nutrition unit to Nestlé last year and spinning off its animal health unit Zoetis while using the proceeds to repurchase its shares. Although these moves may look like Pfizer is heading into spliting itself,  a Pfizer spokeswoman said that “At this time, we have not made and are not in a position to make any decision regarding any potential future action that could involve an external split of these business segments,”.

The new group presidents will start functions as of January 1, Pfizer says, and separate financial reporting will begin with 2014’s first-quarter results.

Read the press release

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