Big Pharma: How Did They Perform in 2022 and What’s Ahead in 2023?

A review of the 2022 financial results from the large bio/pharmaceutical companies. Which companies and products are best posed for 2023? DCAT Value Chain Insights provides an inside look on what lies ahead.

A review of the 2022 financial results from the large bio/pharmaceutical companies. Which companies and products are best posed for 2023? DCAT Value Chain Insights provides an inside look on what lies ahead. 

Looking at the top performing company
One of the high benchmarks for industry performance in 2022 was from Pfizer, which had a record-breaking year in 2022, setting a high-mark in revenues for both itself and the industry as a whole. The company posted revenues of $100.3 billion in 2022, a 23% revenue gain compared to 2021, and far surpassing its 2021 revenues of $81.3 billion, which had set a record for revenues for Pfizer and the industry in 2021.

The principal drivers of growth for the company in 2022 were its COVID-19 products: its COVID-19 vaccine, Comirnaty, and its COVID-19 drug, Paxlovid (nirmatrelvir/ritonavir). Combined, these products accounted for $56.7 billion in revenues, or 57% of Pfizer’s 2022 total revenues. Revenues for Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine, Comirnaty was $37.8 billion in 2022, and 2022 revenues for its COVID-19 drug, Paxlovid, was $18.9 billion (see Figure 1 below). The nearly $57 billion in revenues for these two products alone were comparable to or exceeded the individual annual revenues of the top five bio/pharmaceuticals companies in 2021.

With the easing of the COVID-19 pandemic, revenues for these products are expected to fall as are overall revenues for Pfizer in 2023. Pfizer projects 2023 revenues of between $67 billion to $71 billion. The midpoint of the company’s financial guidance for revenues reflects a 31% operational decrease compared to 2022 revenues. Company revenues are anticipated to be lower in 2023 than in 2022 due entirely to expected revenue declines for Pfizer’s COVID-19 products. Projected 2023 revenues for its COVID-19 vaccine, Comirnaty are $13.5 billion, down 64% from actual 2022 results. Projected 2023 revenues for its COVID-19 drug, Paxlovid, are $8 billion, down 58% from actual 2022 results.

The downward revenue projections are reflective of changes in public health policy toward the COVID-19 pandemic. Late last month, (January 30, 2023), the White House announced its intention to extend the COVID-19 national emergency and public health emergency until May 11, 2023, at which point, both the national and public health emergency declarations will end. Currently, the emergency declarations are set to expire respectively on March 1, 2023, for the national health emergency and April 11, 2023, for the public health emergency.

In all for 2022, Pfizer had 10 blockbuster products (defined as products with sales of $1 billion). Revenues of $37.8 billion for its COVID-19 vaccine and $18.9 billion for its COVID-19 drug, Paxlovid (nirmatrelvir/ritonavir), were the largest revenue-generating products for Pfizer in 2022 and far outpaced revenues for its other blockbuster products. Its two next highest revenue-generators in 2022 were Eliquis (apixaban), an anticoagulant developed with Bristol-Myers Squibb with 2022 global revenues of $6.48 billion. and the anti-cancer drug, Ibrance (palbociclib) with 2022 global revenues of $5.12 billion.

Looking to 2023, Pfizer says it expects strong topline growth of 7% to 9%, excluding its COVID-19 products and anticipated foreign exchange impacts.

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