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Pfizer South Africa’s Biopharmaceutical Division is part of globally renowned Pfizer Inc., the world's largest research-based pharmaceutical company, whose history dates to the 1880s.

Key Milestones


​​​​Pfizer Opens Up In Brooklyn, New York As A Fine-chemical Business

In 1849, cousins Charles Pfizer and Charles Erhart founded Charles Pfizer & Company in a red brick building in Brooklyn, NY.


Pfizer Enters The South African Market

Pfizer actually entered the South African market in 1951, when Petersen Limited, a Cape Town based firm of manufacturing chemists was awarded the agency for the distribution of Pfizer's pharmaceutical products. Terramycin, the first broad-spectrum antibiotic which had been discovered in 1949 was the key product distributed by Petersen.


​​​​​​Pfizer’s Bio-pharmaceutical Division Was Established In South Africa

In 1953 Pfizer set up its own promotional activity in South Africa, starting with pharmaceutical products. It soon entered the agricultural sector, with a limited range of Terramycin dosage forms. The company employed two representatives, which was increased to six in 1954, including one in the then-Rhodesia. In 1957 Pfizer launched its Agriculture Division in Newtown, Johannesburg, with seven employees.


Pfizer Expands In Southern Africa

In 1967, the Johannesburg office became the regional headquarters for Southern Africa, controlling operations in South Africa, Rhodesia, Angola, Mozambique and South-West Africa. A manufacturing plant in Pietermaritzburg, commissioned in January 1968, marked the completion of the first phase of a long-term investment programme in South Africa.
The plant, set up at a cost of R1.8 million included a manufacturing unit to produce sterile, topical and oral dosage forms and a highly sophisticated quality control laboratory.


Pfizer Sa Expands Further

Veterinary pharmaceuticals, including injectable products for animals, were manufactured in the same facility and in 1969 an additional unit was added to manufacture other agricultural products, including sheep dips. The facility was also expanded to accommodate the manufacture of consumer products like Choats and TCP.


Pfizer Celebrates 150th Anniversary

Pfizer celebrates its 150th anniversary as one of the world's premier pharmaceutical companies. Recognized for its success in discovering and developing innovative drugs for human discovery, Forbes® magazine names Pfizer Inc. "Company of the Year."


Pfizer Signs Mou With Doh

Pfizer partnered with the SA Department of Health by donating treatments for two opportunistic fungal infections associated with HIV and AIDS (cryptococcal meningitis and esophageal candidiasis).


Pfizer Merges With Warner-lambert Company

February 2000 saw Pfizer Inc., including the South African operations, merge with Warner-Lambert Company, making the South African operation one of the top 5 pharmaceutical companies in South Africa.


Pfizer Acquires Wyeth

Pfizer acquires Wyeth, creating a company with a broad range of products and therapies that touch the lives of patients and consumers every day and at every stage of life.


Pfizer Partners With Biovac Institute

Pfizer and the Biovac institute launch partnership to manufacture pneumococcal conjugate vaccine in South Africa.


Pfizer Partners With Unjani Clinic

Pfizer and Unjani Clinic partners to establish 6 more clinics in Township Areas


Pfizer Sell Consumer Division To Gsk

Pfizer unveils its joint venture with GlaxoSmithKline for its Consumer Health Division


Pfizer Closes Phase 2 With Biovac

Pfizer’s anti-pneumonia Prevnar 13 vaccine (PCV-13) to be produced in South Africa by 2021.


Pfizer South Africa Wins A Gender Mainstreaming Award

Pfizer South Africa won the Equal Representation and Participation Category at the Gender Mainstreaming Awards, 2020.
Pfizer was selected as second finalist in the Women in Executive Committees in Multinationals category and were selected as a joint third finalist in the Investing in Young Women category


Upjohn A Division Of Pfizer Merges With Mylan

Pfizer announces it plans to sell two assets to the Mylan-Upjohn spinoff, which will be named Viatris

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