Pfizer @60: Redefining Ethical Pharma Marketing Landscape



A 60-year anniversary is traditionally the diamond anniversary worthy of celebration especially in a clime where there is high mortality rate in businesses.When a man looks into a mirror, the image does not only reflect who he is today, it also reveals who he used to be. Although appearances change, many of the underlying characteristics remain the same. The same is true with Pfizer Nigeria as it recently celebrated its 60th anniversary and reflected on some of its accomplishments.

Just as 60 years is a milestone anniversary for the pharmaceutical company, it is also a noteworthy achievement for being in business for the period of 60 years’with a solid reputation in ethical pharma.

Pfizer Specialties Limited, a subsidiary of Pfizer Essential Health in the past 60 years has demonstrated its commitment to the well-being of the Nigerian society through its core values and philosophy which include customer focus, respect for people, innovation, integrity, leadership and performance.

Three strong things are also significant to the Pfizer brand and these include the quality of the drugs, the efficacy of the drugs and the safety of the drugs. According to Winston Ailemoh, Marketing Director, Pfizer (Nigeria, Ghana and East Africa,) “we have a reputation that has set Pfizer apart in the midst of intense competition both from multinational like us and also generic businesses.”

Interestingly, Pfizer is arguably the oldest pharmaceutical business in Nigeria that has invested tremendously in the Nigerian economy. The organisation is not resting on its oars as there are plans to invest in the economy for the next 60 years. According to Winston, “Nigeria remains a key market for Pfizer Essential Health within Sub Sahara Africa and the investment in Nigeria is significant.”

This explains why the company has embarked on numerous CSR initiatives in the Nigerian market, some of which include: cardiovascular screenings, glaucoma screenings, communicable infections diseases screenings in communities, pharmacies, corporate establishments, and health care institutions. Also, it has collaborated with Health Writers Association of Nigeria (HEWAN) to address topical health issues, including adopting international standards in the health care delivery system. It has also partnered with NGOs in the fight against cervical and breast cancers. The pharmaceutical company is also championing Anti-counterfeit Public Awareness Campaign in Nigeria.


Redefining Ethical Pharma Marketing Landscape

Interestingly, what Pfizer has done successfully in the last two years is that the pharma company has redefined the marketing landscape within the Ethical Pharma industry.

Pfizer significantly tripled its investments into General Physicians/Family Medicine and Pharmacists practices in the country through its innovative and world class leading edge medical education programs. The pharma company successfully reach over 5000 GPs & Pharmacists in 2016/2017 via platforms such as the LEARNING EXCHANGE ADVANCEMENT PROGRAMS for GPs and the MASTER LEARNING SERIES for Pharmacists.

The Marketing Director, Winston Ailemoh added, “we have increased our reach with these practitioners with the provision of world class medical education. We have ensured that quality medical education is provided to support their practices. On a monthly basis in the last six months of 2017, what we have done is that we have revolutionised that platform leveraging technology which enables us to reach more GPs and Pharmacists.The significance of that is that more GPs and Pharmacists are well equipped with the right level of medical information to help deal with different patients they see on a daily basis.

Increased investments had gone into the retail segment with initiatives such as deploying innovative and impactful in-store visibility gimmicks and activations into over 1,500 retail pharmacies across Lagos, Portharcourt and Abuja, with messaging creating awareness for different disease conditions.

Within the next two years, according to Winston, “we plan to expand that into key cities like, Ibadan, Benin, Enugu, Calabar, Kaduna and Kano in Nigeria. We are championing creative and innovative presence in the retail landscape which has never been done by any pharma company in Nigeria.”

Key Landmarks/Milestones

One of the achievements Pfizer has recorded over the years is the donation of Tonometer’s to health institutions across Nigeria to help in the diagnosis of Glaucoma. For the Corporate Affairs Manager, Miss Ngozi Ushedo, this is an area that is very paramount to the organisation. The pharmaceutical company also worked with the Federal Road Safety Corps to educate commercial drivers at bus stations in Lagos State on the effects of glaucoma. Pfizer Nigeria, in collaboration with the Ophthalmological Society of Nigeria (OSN), has established the Glaucoma Patients Association for Lagos State to encourage the prevention and treatment of Glaucoma by supporting early detection of the disease.

The collaboration was announced as part of activities marking the World Glaucoma Week in Lagos where free glaucoma screenings were conducted by OSN and the Medical Clinic of the National Television Authority (NTA) at major hospitals. The week-long programme ended with a Health Walk for Sight event that attracted more than 800 participants, including colleagues and key partners from OSN, NTA, and the Medical Women’s Association of Nigeria. Glaucoma is the second most-common cause of blindness worldwide according to a 2006 study in the British Journal of Ophthalmology. It is estimated that, globally, 4.5 million persons are blind due to Glaucoma and that this number will rise to 11.2 million by 2020.

Pfizer support for patients transcends Glaucoma; the leading pharma company is also supporting elimination of communicable infectious diseases around the country.

“Also, we have become the number one partner of choice to Health Care Practitioner Associations like the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria, The Nigerian Medical and Dental Council, Association of General Practice Medicine Practitioners of Nigeria, Association of Community Pharmacists of Nigeria, Ophthalmology Society of Nigeria.

Other success stories of Pfizer in the last 60 years include an award acknowledging the full computerization of the Pharmacy Department in Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH). There was also an award of recognition for contributions to the development of children’s programmes at the National Museum Esie, Kwara State.

The pharmaceutical company have also provided ‘Audio Books’ with basic information on Pneumococcal disease to people with low literacy levels through the Medical Women’s Association of Nigeria.

It also supported the development of the African Pharmaceutical Forum website as part of its effort to strengthen pharmacy alliance and the information system in the health care sector.

Staff Empowerment

In the area of staff empowerment, Pfizer is regarded as a leader by given unrivalled robust and leading hedge training and development programmes in-house. According to the Marketing Director, “the development programme is designed globally to fit for purpose locally in every market with Nigeria inclusive. We have a training resource dedicated to the commercial team from January to December.

Pfizer Specialties Limited is an affiliate of Pfizer Essential Health Global Pharmaceuticals Inc. Pfizer is committed to applying science and its global resources to improve health and well-being at every stage of life. The pharmaceutical company strives to provide access to safe, effective and affordable medicines and related health care services to the people who need them.

The company has a leading portfolio of products and medicines that support wellness and prevention, as well as treatment and cures for diseases across a broad-range of therapeutic areas. The company has an industry-leading pipeline of promising new products that have the potential to challenge some of the most feared diseases of our time, like Alzheimer’s disease and Cancer.


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