What Are the Key Growth Drivers for Pfizer in Fiscal 2019?

Margaret Patrick - Author

Feb. 13 2019, Updated 10:30 a.m. ET

Growth drivers

In its fourth-quarter earnings conference call, Pfizer (PFE) highlighted innovative health drugs such as Ibrance, Xtandi, Eliquis, and Xeljanz, its vaccines portfolio, its biosimilars portfolio, and its essential health business in emerging markets as its key revenue drivers for fiscal 2018.

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Innovative Health trends

According to Pfizer’s fourth-quarter earnings conference call, Ibrance has managed to report global revenues of $4.1 billion in fiscal 2018, a YoY rise of 32%. This performance is exceptional considering that only half of the eligible metastatic breast cancer patients are treated with CDK inhibitor-endocrine combination therapy. Since many of the remaining eligible patients continue to be treated with endocrine therapy or chemotherapy, there is significant scope to further increase the penetration of Ibrance. Ibrance is also experiencing a robust uptake in developed international markets of Europe and Japan.

In fiscal 2018, Xtandi managed to reach blockbuster status, considering Pfizer’s portion of alliance revenues coupled with royalty income from the drug’s international market sales. According to Pfizer’s fourth-quarter earnings conference call, the increasing adoption by urologists in the metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (or mCRPC) indication coupled with the recent launch in the non-metastatic CRPC indication will continue to drive the growth of Xtandi in fiscal 2019.

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In fiscal 2018, Xeljanz’s global sales were at $1.8 billion, a YoY rise of 33% on an operational basis driven by increasing adoption in rheumatoid arthritis, ulcerative colitis, and psoriatic arthritis indications. Finally, Eliquis also reported global sales of $3.4 billion in fiscal 2018, a YoY rise of 35% on an operational basis. Xeljanz and Eliquis are expected to be major revenue drivers for Pfizer in fiscal 2019.

Biosimilars, emerging markets, and vaccines business

In fiscal 2018, Pfizer’s emerging markets revenues were around $7.8 billion, a YoY rise of 11% on an operational basis. According to Pfizer’s fourth-quarter earnings conference call, this performance has been driven by 19% YoY operational growth in Lipitor sales, 19% YoY operational growth in Norvasc sales, and 13% YoY operational growth in Steril injectables sales.

The Biosimilars business has reported YoY organic revenue growth of 41% in fiscal 2018. According to Pfizer’s fourth-quarter earnings conference call, the company secured FDA approval for two biosimilars in fiscal 2018 and expects four more approvals in fiscal 2019.

Pfizer is also benefitting from solid demand of Prevnar 13 vaccine in emerging markets.

Next, we’ll discuss the key growth drivers of Eli Lilly in greater detail.


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