| HBS Case Collection
(Revised November 2007)
Strategy in the Twenty First Century Pharmaceutical Industry: Merck & Co. and Pfizer Inc.
The global pharmaceutical industry has gone through substantial changes in the last few decades and pharmaceutical firms face major challenges including headline-grabbing litigation, imminent patent expirations, new technologies, rising drug development costs, generic drug substitution, international competitors, and complex public policy issues. This case describes the pharmaceutical industry in 2006 including: the drug development process; threats from biotech and generics competitors; pharmaceutical manufacturing, selling, and marketing; and pharmaceutical consumption in Europe, the third world, and the U.S. Merck and Pfizer are analyzed in-depth and a contrast between Merck as a research-based firm opposed to mergers and Pfizer as a marketing powerhouse growing through acquisitions is developed. Thirteen exhibits give concrete focus to the issues of the case.
Keywords: Mergers and Acquisitions;
Growth and Development Strategy;
Research and Development;