Pfizer goes from villain to hero thanks to the discovery of a vaccine

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Pfizer is the world’s fourth most admired company on Fortune Magazine’s Annual Listmarking his best performance and his first time since 2006 in the top 50.

  • He was more admired than Disney, Starbucks and Netflix, behind Apple, Amazon and Microsoft.

Why is this important: Pfizer is gone From villain to hero in the eyes of many, his image is undergoing a rapid transformation as the company takes credit for co-developing a life-saving COVID-19 vaccine.

  • Pfizer’s previous best showing on the list of the World’s Most Admired Companies was 12th place in 2002, a few years after its Viagra pill was approved to treat erectile dysfunction.
  • “The ability to get a vaccine out to the public in record time has really given the pharmaceutical industry a way to rehabilitate a very bad reputation,” says Bunny Ellerin, CEO of NYC Health Business Leaders, who previously worked on drug branding. .

Pfizer did not respond to a request for comment on this story.

Our thought bubble: This is a remarkable reversal in the company’s fortunes given that in 2019, the reputation of the pharmaceutical sector hit an all-time high, making it the least popular of the 25 industries tracked by the pollster. Gallup.

  • Only 27% of Americans had a positive view of the pharmaceutical sector in 2019 following a series of high-profile drug price hikes, while 58% had a negative view.
  • “You could be a terrific pharmaceutical company and in normal times you won’t be one of the most admired companies,” says Erik Gordon, a business professor at the University of Michigan. “But nothing is normal in the time of COVID.”

Yes, but: The poll reflects the opinions of 3,740 executives, directors and securities analysts – not the general public, which still has significant reservations about the drug trade.

  • A slice of Americans remain skeptical about vaccines and the pharmaceutical industry’s involvement in their development, even though the vaccines are safe and have been developed under strict, government-regulated health and safety protocols.
  • According to a Kaiser Family Foundation Poll conducted from September 23 to October 4.

What we are looking at: If Pfizer can maintain its suddenly positive reputation.

  • Expect the pharmaceutical industry to claim that profits from the drugs helped pay for the crucial R&D that allowed vaccine development to move forward so quickly.
  • “They’re going to sing this song over and over again,” Gordon says. “I don’t think anyone is going to nominate him for a Grammy.”
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