Tag Archives: Pfizer

How 6 Big Pharma Companies Use Twitter to Engage with Audiences

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Pharma companies have begun to embrace different communication channels, including social media, to promote their products, present their drug development initiatives and engage with audiences worldwide.

However, make no mistake, social media is not the same for pharma companies as it is for regular users. Without proper planning, controls and staff training, firms risk fines, sanctions and worse, damage to their reputation.

Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest are the main online networks that pharmaceutical companies are eyeing. In this article, we’ll take a look at how pharma companies like Bristol-Myers Squibb, AstraZeneca, GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer, Merck and Novartis use Twitter to maintain a close connection with their existing and potential patients.


Bristol-Myers Squibb

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@bmsnews is the name of New York-based Bristol-Myers Squibb’s Twitter account. The latter was opened in April 2009 and has now has 108.000 followers. The company’s Twitter feed covers everything from drug research results and analysis, clinical collaborations with other pharma companies, to features about the company’s supply chain, and many more.



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Apart from the main @AstraZeneca Twitter account, the company also has accounts for different countries (UK, US, Canada, etc) and a Twitter profile dubbed @AZhelps. The latter is destined to help people manage and support their health more confidently. The account was opened in 2009 and it currently has over 3000 followers. On the official company account, AstraZeneca posts articles and press releases related to drug discovery, tweets from different conferences, research data, etc. The account now boasts 126.000 followers.



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@GSK was one of the first pharma companies to be on Twitter. They created their account 10 years ago, in 2007, and now have 146.000 followers. The UK-based company also has a US version @GSKUS that it started in March 2009 and has 73.800 followers. They post R&D updates, info about conferences and events that they’re attending, studies, interviews with patients and employees, etc.



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Apart from having separate Twitter accounts for countries like Belgium, France, Turkey, Germany, Austria, etc, @pfizer has an official Twitter profile started in 2009 which now has 206.000 followers and a channel dedicated to media announcements and investor communications dubbed @pfizer_news. Pfizer’s Twitter account is the most followed of all the big pharma Twitter accounts. It mainly focuses on the company’s initiatives in the greater therapeutic arena (like the #QuitSmoking one), cancer research, health tips, polls and surveys, etc.



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@sanofi created its official Twitter profile in 2009 and now has 92.600 followers. The French pharma company has more than 18 Twitter accounts. It has handles for different regions – France, Canada, and the US, as well as accounts for different units like its diabetes franchise and its Genzyme unit. On the company’s official Twitter feed you can find posts related to Big Data and health initiatives, collaborations with startups to develop new health solutions, their anti counterfeiting initiatives, vaccines research and development, etc.



Similar to the other pharma companies, Novartis has several Twitter handles, one for each division of the company (@NovartisPharma for the pharmaceutical division, @NovartisScience, @NovartisCancer) as well as the official page @Novartis. The latter was created in 2008 and has 216.000 followers.

Also, Novartis has one account devoted entirely to oncology clinical trials @NovartisOncCT that allows patients to find out if they qualify for trials.

On their general Twitter account, they update their audience on the latest drug research and development initiatives, post news related to partnerships and collaborations, etc.

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In June 2014, the FDA released its social media guidance regarding the presentation of risk and benefit information which prevents pharma companies from marketing their drugs on social media without presenting the risks associated with their use. However, pharma players have found creative and useful ways of attracting and keeping their audiences engaged. Chapeau!


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A Closer Look at the Top 5 Largest Pharma Companies in the World

If you google “pharma news” you’ll find an impressive number of websites dedicated to the latest news in the pharma industry, covering an impressive number of players, some new, others well-established. But who are the leaders, the companies that set new directions while changing people’s lives during the process?

Here are some interesting pieces of information on 5 of the largest pharma companies in the world.


Johnson & Johnson (J&J)


Revenue: 70.07 billion USD (2015)


Johnson & Johnson is the largest pharma company in the world. It was founded in the US in 1886 by the three Johnson brothers Robert, James, and Edward who initially only focused upon producing antiseptics in order to prevent illness and death. Consequently, Johnson & Johnson was the first company to produce first aid kits, as well as sanitary products for women, dental floss, and commercial dressings for small wounds.

Today, Johnson & Johnson has more than 127,000 employees in over 57 countries. The company’s focus in now upon 3 major areas: pharmaceuticals, diagnostics, and consumer products. J&J has manufactured innovative products Band-Aid, Tylenol, Rogaine, Johnson’s baby products, and Neutrogena skin care.




Revenue: 49.41 billion USD (2015)


Novartis, the second largest pharmaceutical company in the world, was founded in Switzerland in 1996 following the merger of Ciba-Geigy and Sandoz, two Swiss companies founded over 250 years ago. Novartis is known to be one of the biggest pharma spenders on research, investing over $9.9 billion in R&D.

The company has over 118.000 employees and is currently divided into 3 operating divisions:

Pharmaceuticals, Alcon (eye care) and Sandoz (generics). While its generics business is the second largest in the world, Novartis is number one when it comes to its Its eye care division. Novartis’s best-selling drug is Gleevec which generated sales of USD 4.7 billion in 2015 alone.




Revenue: 48.85 billion USD (2015)


Pfizer was founded in the US in 1849, which makes it one of the oldest pharma companies in the world. The company started very small. It was founded by cousins Charles Pfizer, a chemist, and Charles Erhart, a confectioner, with money borrowed from Pfizer’s father. The two soon developed their first product, an antiparasitic dubbed santonin, that was used to treat intestinal worms. The drug turned out to be a real success.

Pfizer developed many well-known pharmaceutical drugs such as antidepressant Zoloft, lowering blood cholesterol drug Lipitor, and Viagra, a drug used to treat erectile dysfunction. The company has over 78.000 employees and a profit margin that makes it the most profitable pharma company in the world.




Revenue: 50.856 billion USD (2015)


The company was founded by Fritz Hoffman-La Roche in Basel, Switzerland in 1896 during the European industrial revolution. During its first years, it successfully produced the first in a series of thyroid medications, as well as a non-prescription cough syrup dubbed Sirolin. After the World Wars, Roche became the first company to mass-produce synthetic vitamin C.

With over 88.000 employees, the company operates two segments – pharmaceuticals and diagnostics – and sells its products in over 190 countries. Roche’s prescription drugs include cancer therapies MabThera/Rituxan and Avastin, Perjeta and Kadcyla for HER2-positive breast cancer, hepatitis drug Pegasys, idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis drug Esbriet, macular degeneration therapy Lucentis, and Tamiflu, which is used to prevent and treat influenza (including pandemic strains).




Revenue: 46.32 billion EUR


Bayer was founded in Germany in 1863 and it became renowned through its iconic product Aspirin which was developed in 1897. A year later, the company started the commercialization of heroin as a cough suppressant and a substitute for morphine.

Bayer’s lost its assets and trademarks during WW II as part of America’s campaign against Germany. It was only in 1978 that the company brought back its business in the US.

Nowadays, Bayer has over 116,000 employees and its key products include analgesics such as Bayer Aspirin and Aleve, food supplements Redoxon and Berocca, and skincare products Bepanthen and Bepanthol.

These are the top 5 pharma companies that probably everyone has heard of. They are closely followed by Merck, Sanofi, GlaxoSmithKline, AstraZeneca and Gilead Sciences.


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From 60 Pharma companies to 10 Big Pharma companies in 20 Years

We’ve all heard about Novartis, Pfizer, Sanofi and Roche. They’re some of the big guys in the pharma landscape, enjoying increased popularity, splitting the high budgets and revolutionizing the healthcare and pharma industry but what’s the road they took to get here? In order to answer that question, we’re going to analyze the 10 biggest pharma companies nowadays which used to be around 60 distinct companies 20 years ago. Here’s what they did to stand the test of time and grow.



It all dates back to 1970 when Ciba-Geigy was formed by the merger of J. R. Geigy Ltd and CIBA. In 1996, from the merger of Ciba-Geigy and Sandoz Laboratories, Novartis was born. In 2005, Novartis acquired Hexal and Eon Labs, thus growing its generic division Sandoz. A year later, in 2006, Novartis acquired full control of Chiron Corp. for USD 5.1 billion. In 2010, Novartis acquired the world’s largest eye-care company Alcon for USD 39.3 billion. Three years later, in 2012, the company bought Fougera Pharmaceuticals for USD 1.5 billion. In 2016, Novartis acquired Selexys Pharmaceuticals Corporation and SelG1 antibody for reduction of pain crises in sickle cell disease (SCD).

AstraZeneca (AZ)

AstraZeneca  was created in 1999 following the merger of Astra and Zeneca Group. In 2004, AZ completed its first big acquisition of Cambridge Antibody Technology. Later on, in 2007, it acquired MedImmune for about USD 15.2 billion. In 2012, AstraZeneca acquired Ardea Biosciences for USD 1.3 billion. One year later, it acquired Amylin from BMS for USD 4.3 billion and in 2015 acquired ZS Pharma for USD 2.7 billion. In 2015, AstraZeneca bought 55% majority stake in Acerta for USD 4 billion.


In 2000, Pfizer acquired American pharmaceutical company Warner–Lambert for USD 111.8 billion to bring its drug, Lipitor, to market. In 2002, Pfizer aimed to acquire full rights to Pharmacia’s product Celebrex and thus agreed to buy Pharmacia for stock valued at USD 60.0 billion. In 2009, Pfizer bought pharmaceutical company Wyeth for USD 68.0 billion. In 2015, Pfizer acquired Hospira for USD 15.2 billion and announced the merger with Allergan. The latter is considered to be one of the biggest mergers in pharma history. In 2016, Pfizer announced the successful completion of its acquisition of Medivation.


Sanofi resulted from the merger between Sanofi-Synthélabo and Aventis in 2004. The former was created in 1999 when Sanofi merged with Synthélabo. Aventis was formed in 1999 following the merger of Rhône-Poulenc S.A. with Hoechst Marion Roussel (HMR). The latter itself was formed in 1995 from the merger of Hoechst AG with Cassella, Roussel Uclaf and Marion Merrell Dow.

In 2011, Sanofi-Aventis acquired Genzyme and changed its name to Sanofi.

Johnson & Johnson

J&J was founded in 1886 as a medical devices, pharmaceutical and consumer packaged goods company. The pharmaceutical division is made up of Janssen & Cilag. In 2006, Janssen acquired the consumer healthcare business of Pfizer for USD 16.6 billion in what is considered to be the company’s largest M&A deals. In 2013, the company acquired Aragon Pharma and in 2014 it bought Alios BioPharma, Inc. for USD 1.75 billion.

Merck & Co.

Merck was founded in 1668 and is the world’s oldest operating chemical and pharmaceutical company. Merck & Co. was established as a subsidiary of Merck in 1891, but became an independent company in 1917. It is known as MSD (Merck Sharp and Dohme) outside of North America. In 1993, Merck purchased Medco Containment Services Inc. for USD 6 billion. In 2009, Merck merged with Schering-Plough. The latter had acquired Organon from Akzo Nobel in 2007 while Organon resulted from a merger between Diosynth and Organon in 2004. Ten years later, Merck bought Cubist Pharmaceuticals for USD 8.4 billion.


Roche’s first acquisition took place in 1994 when the company bought Syntex Corporation for USD 5.3 billion. In 2002, Roche’s Japanese subsidiary Nippon Roche merged with Chugai. Following the deal, Roche got a majority stake in the Japanese company. In 2008, Roche acquired Ventana Medical Systems for USD 3.4 billion and in 2009, the company bought Genentech for USD 46.8 billion.


Teva resulted from the merger between Assia, Zori and Teva in 1976. In 2006, Teva completed its first big acquisition of IVAX Corporation for USD 7.4 billion. In 2011, it acquired Cephalon for USD 6.8 billion. After acquiring Auspex Pharma for USD 3.5 billion in 2015, Teva completed its acquisition of Allergan’s generics business (“Actavis Generics”) in 2016.

Gilead Sciences

Gilead Sciences was founded in June 1987. Over the past 16 years, the company has made several acquisitions. The biggest ones include: CV Therapeutics for USD 1.4 billion in 2009 and USD 10.4 billion acquisition of Pharmasset in 2011.

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK)

GSK was founded in 2000 following the merger of Glaxo Wellcome and SmithKline Beecham. In 2001, GSK acquired Block Drug for USD 1.2 billion. In 2009, GSK acquired Stiefel Laboratories for USD 3.6 bn. 4 years later, in 2013, GSK acquired Human Genome Sciences (HGS) for USD 3 billion. In 2015, GSK completed the acquisition of vaccine business of Novartis and sale of its oncology business to the Swiss drug major in a global deal. Under the agreement, GSK Pharma expanded its vaccine portfolio and took over 120 employees from Novartis to boost its sales in India.

There’s so much pharma history behind all of the big names out there and the evolution is far from reaching an end. We’re looking forward to seeing what these pharma giants have in store during the next couple of years and who’s going to lead the way in the M&A sector.

Congress Bookers provides a whole range of services needed to organize a group for a medical congress. On our website, you will find a full list of hotel allotments for the most important medical congresses in 2017, regardless of their location. The biggest congresses next year are: