Pfizer sees all-time high for 2022 revenues; but declining COVID-19 products market will hit 2023 sales

By Rachel Arthur

- Last updated on GMT


Related tags Pfizer COVID-19 COVID-19 vaccine

Pfizer expects to see a 64% drop in Comirnaty revenues this year, which will hit its 2023 revenue guidance.

FY2022 revenues of $100.3bn represented an increase of $19bn, up 23% on FY 2021 and an 'all-time high' for the company across its 174-year history.

This was attributed to global sales of COVID-19 products (vaccine Comirnaty and antiviral Paxlovid raked in $56.7bn over the year); continued strong growth of anticoagulant Eliquis ($6.5bn), and the launch of 20-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine Prevnar 20 for the US adult population ($1.7bn).

But as the COVID-19 products market transitions away from a pandemic to seasonal model, Pfizer expects to see a big dip in COVID-19 sales in 2023.

Future sales expectations

In 2022, Comirnaty revenues reached $37.8bn; but Pfizer projects this will drop 64% to $13.5bn in 2023.

Paxlovid revenues, meanwhile, are expected to come in at around $8bn, down 58% from $18.9bn in 2022.

Pfizer says 2023 will be the 'low point' for the COVID-19 products market: a result of government stockpiling in 2022, with the added disruption of a shift to a commercial model. 

That in turn will affect Pfizer's overall revenues: expected to be in the region of $67bn - $71bn against the backdrop of this year’s $100bn.

But the company predicts COVID-19 revenues will start growing again in 2024. 

COVID calculations

In releasing its guidance, Pfizer's estimates for both COVID-19 products are no longer based primarily on expected deliveries under existing signed or committed supply contracts (as it had done in the past).

Comirnaty sales

  • 2021: $36.8bn
  • 2022: $37.8bn
  • 2023: $13.5bn (projected)

Its calculations now factor in - among other things - anticipated sales through traditional commercial markets (which it expects to see the US transition to in the second half of 2023).

In the US, it has already announced a price increase​ for Comirnaty (contracts with the EU for future supply agreements and their pricing are still under negotiation).

Pfizer bases its most recent calculations of the expectation that around 24% of the US population will receive a COVID-19 vaccine this year, down from 31% in 2022.

This is because fewer and fewer people will need the two-dose primary vaccination (as opposed to a one-dose booster), as well as being less motivated in general to get vaccinated.

Pfizer estimates that it takes around a 64% share of the US COVID-19 vaccine market: which for it will equate to 65 million doses in 2023 compared to 92 million doses in 2022.

Post-2023, Pfizer projects that Comirnaty revenues are set to rise again in the US in 2024 and continue to rise in 2025 and 2026: although not nearing the heights of 2022 again in the foreseeable future.

Of course, these estimates are subject to ‘significant uncertainties’ in the shape of how SARS-CoV-2 strains and their severity evolves in 2023, notes the pharma giant.

One of the key markets it is betting on for the future is a combo COVID-19/flu shot: thus tackling two common respiratory diseases with a single injection (around 49.4% of US adults get a flu shot each year, according to the latest CDC data - representing a far larger group than those expected to get a COVID-19 jab).

In December, Pfizer and BioNTech announced they had received Fast Track Designation from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the combo jab: with a Phase 1 trial to examine the safety, tolerability, and immunogenicity of shot among healthy adults initiated in November 2022.

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