When delivering on our promise to bring innovative medicines to patients, we often highlight new technologies and cutting-edge research to develop innovative, first-in-class medicines. Equally important to our research and development efforts is our commitment to a state-of-the-art manufacturing operation to deliver these cures to patients. Pfizer sits at the crossroads of healthcare and job creation, touching two of the most critical components of the American economy. The right manufacturing policies can ensure that Pfizer continues to contribute to the addition of critical and stable jobs while continuing to deliver lifesaving medicines to patients.
What role does manufacturing play in this pathway? Manufacturing Pfizer medicines requires a broad skill set, whether they be therapies that are part of preventative care or more sophisticated life-saving essential or critical treatments. An example is our vaccine for invasive pneumococcal disease. In order to deliver a single dose to a patient, manufacturing requires 1,700 people, 400 raw materials, 581 manufacturing steps, and 678 quality tests. Without our state-of-the-art facilities, the delivery of the high-quality and safe medicines and vaccines our patients rightfully expect would not be possible. And as we begin to develop highly advanced, targeted therapies for patients, we know that our ability to maintain high standards for manufacturing will be critical.
Pfizer has a long history of manufacturing in the U.S., and since our founding nearly 170 years ago, we have been proudly headquartered in New York. Our commitment at home has not waned – in the past five years, we have invested $2.1 billion in U.S. manufacturing, and our 17 U.S. manufacturing sites, employing 12,000 people, produce almost 60 percent of the medicines we sell here.
We are focused on maintaining the highest standards throughout our complex supply chain and believe that we can work closely with policy makers to improve upon our manufacturing capabilities and sustain our domestic job creation.
We have a roadmap to get there:
- Support a tax environment that’s fair to all companies and is grounded in the knowledge that many industries rely on highly integrated global supply chains, and remove barriers to reinvest in the U.S.
- Modernize regulatory policies to keep pace with developments in health science, remove unnecessary bureaucratic hurdles to innovation, enhance competition in the marketplace, and support manufacturing. In July, Pfizer and Merck announced a collaboration with Corning to modernize the pharmaceutical glass used for vaccine vials and other pharmaceutical packaging. During this announcement the White House reinforced a commitment to, “streamlining the regulatory process to make it easier for companies to invest and innovate in the U.S.”
- Consider the quality and consistency of the supply in health and trade policies. Payers who are singularly focused on price alone and not quality may trigger a “race to the bottom” where quality standards are compromised and companies are stifled from manufacturing low-volume, but highly essential therapies.
- Invest in bioscience and engineering education, as well as technical and trade skill training to ensure that there is a diverse, prepared workforce to support pharmaceutical manufacturing.
- Respect intellectual property rights so that companies can continue to take the risks needed to invest in research and manufacturing.
- Modernize trade policies that create a level playing field for U.S. companies operating abroad.
Pfizer remains committed to manufacturing all our medicines to the highest-quality standards for which we are known and trusted today, and to sustaining job creation including through our manufacturing operations. U.S.-based manufacturing is a critical part of the Pfizer story and we will continue our long- standing heritage to American investment through our promise to deliver novel cures for patients now and in the future. Strengthening those manufacturing policies will ensure that we continue to make good on that promise.