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How We Change the World

Pfizer has chosen to change the world through research and innovation in medicines and vaccines that prolong and save lives. Our pharmaceutical legacy and the positive impact we have made on people’s lives and their physical well-being date back to more than a century. Our goal has been – and always will be - to contribute to a healthier world.

Here are some of our successes and contributions to a healthier world that have made us proud.

1882
Pfizer developed small pox vaccine at its Lancaster Country Vaccine Farm.

1906
Pfizer developed vaccine for preventing diphtheria antitoxin, a contagious upper respiratory tract illness.

1942
Following the 1928 discovery of penicillin by British researcher Sir Alexander Fleming, a team of Oxford research scientists led by Australian Howard Florey and including Ernst Boris Chain and Norman Heatley devised a method of mass-producing penicillin. Florey and Chain shared the 1945 Nobel Prize in Medicine with Fleming for their work that changed the course of human history.

In 1942, Pfizer began mass production of “penicillin” that kills bacteria, fights infection, and saves lives. During World War II, “penicillin” contributed to a significant reduction in the number of deaths and amputations caused by infected wounds among Allied forces.

1948
Pfizer introduced a combined vaccine for preventing diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis in young children.

1958
Pfizer made development of a polio vaccine an imperative. It began bulk production of an anti-polio vaccine developed by Dr. Jonas Salk. Not long after that, Dr. Albert Sabin, assisted by a Pfizer grant, successfully formulated “live virus” polio vaccine that came to be called “Type I Sabin Oral Vaccine”. Children quickly discovered that eating vaccine-laden sugar cubes was far more pleasant than undergoing injections.

1968
Pfizer became the first drug maker in the world to produce bifurcated needles which revolutionized small pox vaccine delivery and led its worldwide eradication.

1976
Pfizer introduced a medicine for treatment of high blood pressure.

1984
Pfizer launched a medicine for treatment of diabetes.

1986
Pfizer introduced an injectable antibiotic.

1988
Pfizer became the first to license a conjugate-based vaccine for Haemophilus Influenzae type B.

1991
Pfizer became the first to license a combined vaccine for preventing diphtheria, tetanus and acellular pertussis (DTaP) vaccine in the United States.

2000
Pfizer was the first to license a 7-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine for infants and young children.

2003
Pfizer launched a medication developed specifically for the treatment of migraines.

2005
Pfizer received the 2005 National Medal of Technology award, the US government's highest honor for technological achievement, for its 7-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine.

2010
Pfizer was the first to license a 13-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine for infants and young children.

2011
Pfizer became the first to license a 13-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine for adults 50 years and older. The company Pfizer was recognized with a Prix Galien USA Award for "Best Pharmaceutical Agent" in 2011 for its 13-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine.

In the same year, Pfizer introduced a medication for treating non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) which is also the first-in-class oral anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) inhibitor.

To read about our current pharmaceutical development, click here.