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