Our History and Achievements in the UK

Throughout Pfizer's 170 year history, and over 68 years in the UK, we have 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.


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 aquisition 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 over 100 countries 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 Devices Centre of Excellence (DCoE) remains.

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.

Pfizer achieves Top Employer certification in the UK.


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

Pfizer achieves Top Employer certification in the UK for the second year running.

Pfizer sponsors the Science Museum exhibition "Superbugs: The Fight for Our Lives" exploring the growing threat of antibiotic resistance.


Pfizer celebrates 20 years of clinical trial supply at Sandwich and invests in two new pieces of equipment for controlled-release manufacturing technology.

Pfizer achieves Top Employer certification in the UK for the third year running.


Pfizer achieves Top Employer certification in the UK for the fourth year in a row.


Pfizer outlines its 5-point plan in response to the COVID-19 global pandemic, including a collaboration with BioNTech to co-develop a potential COVID-19 vaccination.

Pfizer achieves Top Employer certification in the UK for the fifth year running.

Pfizer UK Consumer Healthcare becomes part of the new GSK Consumer Healthcare joint venture, creating a new world leader in consumer healthcare.

PP-PFE-GBR-4081 / November 2021