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Our history and achievements in the UK

Throughout Pfizer's 160 year history, and over 60 years in the UK, it has remained dedicated to discovering and developing new and better ways to prevent and treat disease, and improve the health and wellbeing of people around the world.



Pfizer establishes operations in Folkestone, Kent, to convert base compounds into medicines ready for UK patients.


A new facility is established in nearby Sandwich. At its heart are ‘deep-tank fermentation’ methods, developed to mass produce penicillin for the troops during World War II. Sir Alexander Fleming, discoverer of penicillin, is guest of honour when the first batch of antibiotic is produced.


Pharmaceutical research starts at Sandwich with just five chemists and one pharmacologist.


The Pfizer business is structured around five core divisions: Pharmaceutical, Chemicals, Consumer, Agricultural, and Research.


Pfizer Research unit in Sandwich employs more than 400 people and becomes the largest research operation of any American pharmaceutical company.


Pfizer receives a Queen’s Award for Technological Achievement, the first of three Queen’s Awards between 1979 and 1991.


Pfizer continues to grow, launching new medicines across a range of therapy areas – several discovered at our Sandwich site.


Pfizer and Warner-Lambert merge to create the world’s fastest growing pharmaceutical company.


Pfizer receives its sixth Queen’s Award – this time for innovation.


Pfizer UK’s commercial operations relocate to new headquarters at Walton Oaks, near Tadworth in Surrey.


Pfizer UK and Pharmacia merge to become the largest pharmaceutical company in the UK.


Pfizer forms a research unit in Cambridge dedicated to developing therapies for Regenerative Medicine.


Pfizer merges with Wyeth.


A new state-of-the-art packaging facility opens at the company’s site in Havant, Hampshire.


A review of R&D operations worldwide leads to a reduced presence in Sandwich. The aquisiton of the site by Discovery Park UK enables it to become the base for a variety of companies from the life sciences, pharmaceutical, biotechnology, science and technology sectors.


A new cold storage facility opens at Pfizer’s site in Havant, providing temperature-sensitive vaccines and injectable medicines to more than 120 destinations around the world.


The merger with Hospira means Pfizer can now offer patients an even more diverse portfolio of medicines.


A review of Pfizer’s global R&D strategy leads to the closure of Pfizer’s Regenerative Medicine units in Cambridge. However, the Device Centre of Emphasis (DCoE) remains, specialising in the design and development of medicines 'delivery devices', such as injectors or inhalers.


Pfizer’s vaccines portfolio grows in the UK with the acquisitions of two vaccines from Baxter, and another from GSK.


Pfizer acquires a portfolio of anti-infective medicines from AstraZeneca.

2016 & 2017

Pfizer achieves Top Employer certification in the UK.


Pfizer launches the first Pfizer Healthcare Hub: London – a new initiative which supports established start-up companies innovating at the cross-section between health and technology.