Covid-19, an economic, social, and health setback, but also an economic boost for big pharma companies. Pfizer, Johnson&Johnson (J&J), and AstraZeneca, the three pharmaceutical companies that currently have the green light from the European Medicines Agency (EMA) to inject their vaccines, increased their combined profit by 59.1% in 2021 compared to 2020, according to the latest results published by the different companies and collected by PlantaDoce. This result does not take into account the profit of the biotech companies Moderna and BioNTech, which will present their annual accounts at the end of February and in March, respectively.
The combined profit of J&J, Pfizer, and AstraZeneca reached $48.7 billion (€43 billion) at the end of 2021, compared with $30.6 billion (€27 billion) in 2020. The development of the Covid-19 vaccine and its subsequent approval by the regulatory body have played an important role in the financial performance of these companies. However, AstraZeneca has seen a significant deterioration in its accounts, as its profit plummeted last year.
Pfizer closed 2021 with a profit of $22 billion, compared with $9.16 billion in 2020, according to the latest results published by the U.S. company. The pharma developer of the Covid-19 vaccine Comirnaty recorded a turnover of $81.3 billion in 2021, compared with $41.65 billion achieved a year earlier. The multinational’s biopharmaceuticals division had revenues of $79.55 billion in 2021, up from $40.72 billion in 2020. Within this segment, the vaccines business accounted for sales of $42.62 billion last year, compared with $6.57 billion in 2020.
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Pfizer closed 2021 with a profit of $21.98 billion, up from $9.16 billion in 2020
It is not only with vaccines that Pfizer is going strong. Last January, the EMA approved the use of Paxlovid, the U.S. giant’s oral treatment for Covid-19. In December, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for the use of Paxlovid for the treatment of mild to moderate Covid-19. Paxlovid is a preparation based on two antivirals, nirmatrelvir, and ritonavir.
Johnson&Johnson, meanwhile, posted a profit of $20.87 billion in 2021, up from $14.71 billion, or 42% more in one year. For the year as a whole, Johnson&Johnson’s turnover was $106.3 billion (€93.77 billion), up 13.6% in 2020. In the next two years, the U.S. multinational will split into two listed companies, splitting its consumer and home health division, which will generate sales of $15 billion this year, according to company forecasts. The multinational will keep its pharmaceutical and medical devices businesses. This move to separate the consumer health division is in line with the context of recent years.
The same cannot be said of AstraZeneca. The Anglo-Saxon drugmaker closed 2021 with a profit of $115 million, down from $3.144 billion in 2020. The company justifies this blow to the accounts due to the acquisition of Alexion, completed during the third quarter of the year for $39 billion, the amortization of intangibles, and impairment and restructuring charges.
Even so, the laboratory’s sales increased by 41% to $37.417 billion. AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 drug Evusheld, which has already earned more than eighty million dollars, began to bear fruit. This treatment will soon reach Spain after the Ministry of Health and the drug company signed a contract a few days ago for the purchase of 30,000 doses. The drug against Covid, Evusheld, has also begun to bear fruit: it has earned $84 million (€74 million). A treatment that will soon reach Spain, after the Ministry of Health and AstraZeneca signed a contract for the purchase of 30,000 doses a few days ago.
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First published in PlantaDoce, a third-party contributor translated and adapted the article from the original. In case of discrepancy, the original will prevail.
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