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Developing new medicines

Globally, our scientists are committed to transforming molecules to medicines in order to improve the lives of millions of people around the world.


In recent years, we have evaluated and improved our research and development (R&D) methods in order to deliver patients a sustainable flow of important new medicines and vaccines. As a result, globally, as of 30th October 2018, we had 28 phase 3 clinical trials in progress.1


Pfizer Pipeline Snapshot as of 30th October 2018

Source: Pfizer data on file.
Note: This Pfizer Pipline Snapshot is updated 4 times a year.


Pfizer, as a global organisation,  collaborates with scientists, technicians, regulatory professionals and business experts across the world, including those in the UK, to find and develop the next generation of innovative medicines for patients.

As part of our approach, we also work with other innovators across the health landscape including academic scientists, patient organisations, governments, other biopharmaceutical companies and healthcare professionals.

We focus our efforts in core areas where we are best positioned to develop unique medicines for much needed therapies. This includes chronic inflammatory and autoimmune diseases, vaccines, oncology, pain, cardiovascular and metabolic disease and rare diseases.

The medicine development cycle

Did you know, on average, it takes around 12 years and more than £1.15bn to develop each new medicine?2 Moreover, for every 10-20 medicines identified in the laboratory, only one will ever reach patients - the others will fail along the way.2 However, research is a continual cycle and the knowledge and resources we gain from the trials we do, helps inform and drive the next generation of science.


View our R&D infographic for more details of the processes involved in researching new medicines [PDF 742Kb]


  1. Pfizer data on file. October 2018
  2. Last accessed November 2018
PP-PFE-GBR-1501 / Nov 2018