Globalization of Health


Globalization is an international interaction process that integrates various people, companies and governments together. The integration arises or is a product of the interchange of ideas and mutual sharing of worldviews including products. Globalization can also be defined as bringing the world together or connecting to the world through defined systems (Cohen, 2013). Globalization is achieved using internet and other networking platforms that promote sharing of ideas or worldviews. It brings institutions and people together with the aim of providing quality and real time solutions to major problems presented by the environmental conditions. According to Cohen (2013) globalization is a key driver to social and economic integration that organizations that aspire to record exemplary performance must embrace. It brings the world together through a global village concept that has helped in shaping destinies of many individuals globally. Institutions that aims at expanding their networks, reach out to more customers, expand market base and increase productivity must be able embrace globalization as a strategic tool for development.

It remains literally the most viable tool for development in the current 21st century. This is evident since the century is characterized with immense or high levels of innovation, technology advancement and creativity. The aspects run every sector of the economy that includes health, tourism, hotel, transport and agriculture. Globalization enables every sector to meet its performance goals that are aimed at improving service delivery to customers (Connell, 2010). In particular, the health sector has seen tremendous growth and expansion over the years in the US and other nations. The sector has been able to introduce new ways of treatment, Medicare service delivery, infrastructural development, and embrace modern ways of medicine production. Many hospitals in the US including Pfizer operate under a globalization strategy. The hospitals have strong systems and globalized approach to service delivery that enables them to offer basic treatment to patients anywhere globally. The main idea of the health institutions is to make health care acquisition a global thing that can be attained anywhere in the world.

This paper gives detailed analysis of Pfizer Company from a globalized perspective. The company is known for its outstanding performance in the medical sector in US and other jurisdictions where it has strategic business units. It is committed to revolutionizing service delivery in the health sector by bringing drugs or medicine to various health complications closure to the people. The drive was formulated after it was established that many people especially the sick were suffering more because of inadequate pharmaceutical services. Many patients could not access quality medication easily or access drugs to help in containing their deteriorating health issues in good time. Therefore, the institution decided to focus its synergies in providing the much needed pharmaceutical services with utmost diligence. It has been able to achieve a lot due to the globalization concept of operation that it adopted. The concept has enabled it to collaborate with other critical service providers, formulate strong working relationships with stakeholders, identify health risk, and execute effective testing of new medicine. This paper covers critical discussion about the company’s background, strategies of performance, where and where the company globalized, why it globalized, the global forces xxx, xxx and xxx.

Pfizer Inc

Pfizer Health Company is a renowned pharmaceutical service provider that started its operations in the year  1849. The pharmaceutical institution is located in New York, US, and its main research center is based in Groton (Rodengen, 1999). The company was funded with a core mission to be the leading pharmaceutical service provider dealing in medicine and vaccine supplies. The idea was to bridge the existing gap between the global market needs and the supply chain that has always been characterized by immense challenges. Since, its inception, the company has grown from strength to strength. It has been able to expand its business units to many locations, develop more infrastructural set ups, hire additional employees and embrace technology in its key service systems (Cockerham & Cockerham, 2010). The company enjoys a wider network of customers, suppliers, policy makers, medical specialists and other stakeholders because of its globalization initiatives. It has equally been able to double its performance over the years in terms of sales volumes and revenue capacity that signify the exemplary nature of its business model.

To serve the world better, the company’s management identified that it was proper for it to embrace globalization concept of service delivery. The management recognized that it is hard for the company to become globalized without pursuing globalization strategies. This prompted the adoption of the major globalization strategies that include advertisement, social factors, diversification, market penetration or differentiation and focus (Rodengen, 1999). The strategies are credited for the company’s successes as they ignited performance at various stages of operation. They brought in a new lease of life in the institution thereby enabling it to adopt universal techniques of service delivery. In particular, the initiatives undertaken enabled the company to expand its product range to cover the global needs. It developed new global portfolio of products that include medicines and vaccines including other important consumer health care products. The range of products include blockbuster drug, Lipitor, atonastatia, Zithromax antibiotic among others (Rodengen, 1999). The medicines and vaccines produced are meant to serve various medicine disciplines that include immunology, cardiology, oncologist and neurologist. These major health care disciplines focus on servicing critical medical needs of patients globally. This is because many diseases fall under the medical disciplines that are professionally operated.

When and where Pfizer globalized

As noted by Rodengen (1999), Pfizer is a global pharmaceutical company that was started with the aim of providing unmatched medical services globally. To achieve this objective, it was necessary for it to embrace globalization strategies. It was also necessary for it to adopt conventional health care practices that were driven by global concepts of business growth. This made the company to embark on high-powered deliberations on how to become a fully globalized entity. The discussions started in the year 1960s to 70s when the company was experiencing steady growth and high demand for  medical vaccines and drugs for various diseases (Rodengen, 1999). It is the same period when the company achieved its globalization goal. Pfizer expanded to new markets, adopted fresh ideas and medical best practices, and established the full needs of patients.

Evidently, the company’s ability to globalize the health services has transformed its status and performance in the sector globally. It is has become more responsive to the growing patient needs, it has become effective in service delivery and enhanced efficiency. The company’s services can be found in most nations globally and where it lacks physical presence there exist subsidiary or franchise entities operating on its behalf. The aspect makes its key health products reachable to many people globally without severe restrictions. It justifies the global philosophy that health care service providers are under expectation to operate under.

The move to embrace globalization started in earnest in the company’s US branch where its head office is located. The deliberations started there due to the frequent orders for medicine and vaccines from domestic and internal market was high. The increasing number of orders depicted that there was a great need for the company to go global to be able to serve the growing needs of the people. Another reason is to help in curbing the health problems that many individuals have based on the prevailing demand statistics of medical attention.

Why it globalized

From all indications, the company strived to globalize because of three major reasons. The first reason is to serve patients promptly irrespective of location. The company globalized to increase the efficiency and effectiveness with which it serves its clients. For instance, it sought to guarantee real time response to the customers’ needs of medicine and vaccines. The major target group includes hospitals, other pharmacies and individual patients.

The second reason is the need to globalize health care services due to the environmental changes and relevance of globalization in expanding the market for health products. The need to expand the market is informed by the globalization standards that guide operation in diverse jurisdictions. Global health is considered an ultimate way of shaping destinies, help in identifying more risks and conduct new testing of medicines. The third reason why the company globalized is to learn from best global medical practices, generation of new ideas, expand services and be able to attract qualified medical specialists who are able to offer quality health care services in every location of service delivery.

The global forces that impacted the company to globalize or made it attractive to globalize

Organizations always experience immense pressure from various global forces to globalize or expand their operating scope. The forces determine decisions made in the organizations with respect to product portfolio, formation of new performance strategies and expansion or venturing into new markets (Connell, 2010). The forces also impose pressure on the interactive levels between companies, policy formulation and compliance with the prevailing market trends. Various forces that were domestic and international in nature fueled Pfizer Company’s push to globalization. The notable forces include the need to remain sustainable, social factors, the existence of the emerging markets, technology advancements and greater global connections. Other forces include the industrial revolution and cultural including religious ideologies.

Focus on sustainability

Pfizer’s globalization quest was informed by the need to remain sustainable in the market. The company wanted to remain profitable while serving the public effectively for a long time (Connell, 2010). Remaining sustainable according to the projections in place could not be possible without going global and ensuring proper coordination of activities between stakeholders that include manufacturing industries and the government. Going global was also one way of ensuring the achievement of the company’s stamp of approval by the potential customers globally. No company can operate effectively and record exemplary performance without the global stamp of approval. With the stamp, it is assure of expanding its market base and gaining acceptance by numerous number of customers.

Technology advancement

The advancement in technology resulted into the company’s strong quest to globalize apart from the idea being fueled by technology-enabled systems. The company was keen of exploring or taking advantage of the enhanced communication platforms and advertising networks such as TVs, radios and internet. The tools were very essential and instrumental in the company’s growth plan from the time it sought to globalize (Cohen, 2013). Indeed, many institutions were motivated to expand due to the technology enabled systems and Pfizer never wanted to remain behind, as it would have lost relevance.

Emerging markets

The pressure from the emerging markets contributed greatly to the globalization of Pfizer Company. The emerging markets created immense competition and need for adoption of new health care provision strategies (Cockerham & Cockerham, 2010). Many people were looking for quality Medicare services during the period the company was pursuing globalization strategy. The new markets created strong rivalry forces that countering was not easy unless global strategies were adopted. Therefore, the company focused on reaching out to the emerging markets and expanding its supplier base by going global through expansion of manufacturing industries and using the e-technology to address customers’ needs. The company’s focus was to address continually customer needs within the shortest time possible.

Social factors

Social factors that include changes in social structures, lifestyle patterns of the global population, buying patterns, consumer lifestyle, social orientation, cultural differences and social status are major aspects that influence the need for health services (Connell, 2010). The factors pushed the company to expand to be able to serve the needs of people in diverse locations since social trends depicted a higher need for medical services by majority globally. Achieving globalization at the time was a strategy to ensure that it establishes well in most settings to facilitate its easy access when need arises.

Nature of the Domestic Market

The domestic market for pharmaceutical products in America was in high demand of pharmaceutical products specifically Vitamin C and antibiotics (Bennett & Tomossy, 2006). Thus, there was a high demand for the se products from 1900 to the 1960. The cause of this high level of demand was mainly due to the First World War, the Cold War and the Second World War. There was high demand of Vitamin C to keep the population healthy while antibiotics were in demand to fight against bacterial infections by the American army and the population as well. At the time, only small advancement in manufacturing antibiotics had been made and when Pfizer came up with an easier way of manufacturing Penicillin, there was a high demand of the drug. The nature of the market can be discussed as below;

Competitiveness in the pharmaceutical domestic market – During the 1950s, there were a few companies that were manufacturing pharmaceutical products in America. At this period, World War II was ongoing there was a very high demand of antibiotics for the American soldiers in the battlefield. Pfizer was by then producing substantial amounts of penicillin and therefore there was the need to initiate offices in allied countries to help in the distribution of the drug. In addition to that, Pfizer was using Deep-Tank fermentation process for the production of large quantities of penicillin and therefore they needed to globalize their laboratories to the countries participating in the World War II for efficient delivery.

The lack of stiff competition in the American Pharmaceutical industry gave Pfizer a breakthrough to the domestic market. Since its inception, the majority of the population in America, because of the drug’s affordability, preferred Pfizer’s pharmaceutical products. Sparke (2013) argues that this property enabled Pfizer to be a monopoly in the pharmaceutical products and the enormous profits they realized from the domestic market were pumped into the expansion of the company.

Moreover, the methods of production used by Pfizer were exemplary enabling them to produce high quantity of goods that were of high quality. This is evidence when Doctor Richard Pasternack came up with a method of producing Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C) without fermentation. The company could manufacture large quantities of Vitamin C and since Vitamin C was in high demand for the healthy war soldiers, there was an increasingly high demand for the product  resulting to the need for expansion. In addition to that, Pfizer Inc. came up with the deep-tank fermentation method of manufacturing penicillin in large quanitities, which enabled it to get potential market from external countries that were participating in the World War II (Hitt, Ireland & Hoskisson, 2007).  However, it is imperative to note that, the success of Pfizer in the American domestic market was because of a combination of several factors that pushed the company to expand its operations.

The Structure of the Global Market

The Global market, during the 1950s, required large amounts of pharmaceutical products in preparation for World War II. Many wounded soldiers who required antibiotics for their treatment but at that time, the supply of antibiotics was running short. This was because most pharmaceutical companies were relying on the outdated procedures of manufacturing antibiotics through extraction of antibiotics from the soil.  For instance, the Nystatin antibiotic was manufactured through extracting Streptomyces noursei from Virginia soils (Bennett & Tomossy, 2006). This process could not sustain the increasing demand of antibiotics and therefore there was a large potential market for pharmaceutical products outside America especially from the allied countries.

Since Pfizer Inc. was able to produce large quantities of penicillin through the Deep-Tank Fermentation process, it was able to export this commodity to the foreign market. Extensive research of antibiotics by Pfizer’s doctors led the Penicillin drug that was highly demanded in Second World War. Allied countries with America in the World War II ordered antibiotics from the United States and an external potential market was created. Since Pfizer was the monopoly in the domestic market, it was forced to expand its operations beyond America to the other allied countries such as Brazil where it opened up its offices (Hitt, Ireland & Hoskisson, 2007).

At this period, more advancements of antibiotics were done in the United Kingdom and India and thus a stiff competition was created in the global market. However, Pfizer products were less costly thus attracting more customers globally. There was a large potential market for customers who could afford these pharmaceutical products hence more branches were opened up in Germany, China, Japan and Taiwan to cater for the large market demand. By the 21st century, Pfizer had already established firm roots in these countries.

Areas of Health That Enabled the Globalization of the Pfizer Foundation

It is very clear that globalization of Pfizer was due to the high demand for pharmaceutical products around the globe. Hence, countries, which did not participate in World War II, did not have urgent needs to the pharmaceutical products. These countries were at lower risks of contracting bacterial infections and therefore there was less demand for antibiotics in those particular countries. This created two different groups; a group that needed immediate pharmaceutical products and a group that pharmaceutical products were not in very high demand (Sparke, 2013). The group that was in urgent need of pharmaceutical products initiated the forces behind the globalization of Pfizer Inc. Today, the two groups are still being observed. In developed countries, people are still struggling to get primary health care while in developed countries; the basic health situation is beyond primary health care. In developed countries, People are in more demand of secondary health care and there is less demand for primary health care.

The need of pharmaceutical products in the 1950s was also influenced by the need to come up with new medicines regarding antibiotics for the World War II. This is because; the primary aim at that time was to get control of the aftermath that was caused by the World War II. In today’s world, there is more testing of medicines that can cure viruses. Bacteria are no longer a threat but doctors are still looking for efficient antibiotics to cure bacteria. More advanced bacteria and viruses have been identified and there is more demand for pharmaceutical products that can cure them. However, not all customers can afford them. Some of these drugs are so expensive that the can they can only be afforded a small percentage of the current world’s population.

Strategies Pfizer used to expand its operations

Globalization is a noble idea whose success is yarned for in most organizations. It transforms how activities are done and performance levels including the quantity of items that are delivered to customers at particular times. Every organization that aspires to withstand competitive pressure in the global health sector has no choice but to embrace it holistically (International, 2011). The need for adoption is to pave way for increased response to customer needs. However, before the process of globalization is started, a number of  factors have to be considered. Similarly, relevant strategies have to be put in place and adhered to from the preamble stages of process implementation to completion.

The companies must understand the environment they are operating in to establish the eminent risks, the needs of the people and the prevailing opportunities worth exploring. They should also execute detailed feasibility study to establish their strengths and weaknesses (International, 2011). This helps in shaping decision on whether to pursue the strategy or not. The analysis assist in ascertaining whether the company has adequate resources to enable it finance its activities and remain sustainable. The other aspects that require understanding include culture and cultural practices of customers, buying behavior, consumer behavior towards the products on offer and the competitive edge or nature in the market.

In particular, the first strategy that Pfizer used in conquering new markets or becoming globalized is the execution of a detailed internal and external analysis. The company executed in-depth evaluation of its strengths and weaknesses that facilitated proper identification of what it could achieve (Ismail, 2011). The second strategy entailed identification or understanding of behaviors and culture of the potential customers in the new markets. This was done in several nations including but not limited to Mexico, Belgium, Cuba, UK, Canada and panama. The move helped the company to decide on the appropriate advertisement and product distribution techniques to use. It also helped in the mobilization of health care resources such as diagnosis machines and employees (Ismail, 2011). Understanding of the cultural practices of the societies gave the management the opportunity to plan and allow for the establishment of a centralized expansion zone. The aspect allowed effective coordination of activities and hiring of staff who are qualified to discharge the requisite duties at the new stations.

Likewise, the company took time and identified the level f international competition including the company’s competitive edge in the industry. Its management recognized fully that gong into a new market without proper disclosure of the competitive advantage is disastrous. Competitive advantage must be established given that its absence exposes business to severe performance struggles (Ismail, 2011). The move allowed Pfizer Company to gain traction and effective connection with customers.

Another strategy the company adopted was the use of strategic partners in diverse locations. The company expanded its networks through local institutions in diverse nations. The institutions accepted to act on its behalf by selling its much valued medicine and vaccines to customers (International, 2011). The local entities also contributed to the company’s success by creating awareness of its major products amongst the potential buyers. The strategy enabled the pharmaceutical service provider to spread its branches even to remote areas globally. The new branches created more opportunities for growth and economic development .

Many people value and credit the company for its globalization initiative. They are happy that the initiative has consistently enabled them to access quality pharmaceutical services in good time when need arises. Various health complications no longer pose severe fear to most individuals because relevant drugs or vaccine can be accessed greasily. The company also used technology enabled systems and various media platforms to access the global market. The technology used includes advertisement on TVs and radios including the internet. The platforms helped in creating awareness about the company’s operations and key products. They also enlightened the people about the major health services it offers and the importance of the services inn human life. Such information became helpful since it attracted many people towards accepting the company and embracing its products compared to other entities.

According to Roy (2009), Pfizer Company embraced porters generic model strategies to gain access into the new markets globally. The strategies under the model were suitable since they present requisite market expansion and awareness creation incentives. They ensure that an entity executes its marketing activities efficiently and effectively. The main strategies used by Pfizer pharmaceutical company were diversification strategy, differentiation and focus strategies. First, diversification strategy was used to enable the company penetrate new and different markets with ease. The company achieved this by diversifying its product range depending on variable factors that include need, buyers’ income levels among other parameters (Roy, 2009). For instance, the company did not introduce its medicines and vaccines at the same time in some markets. This aspect was characterized especially in the markets that were deemed competitive. In such markets, it entered using the low-end products or items that were not in sufficient supply by the rivals like vaccines. After gaining inroads in the markets is when real medicine was introduced to the people. The strategy is attributable to facilitating the company’s access to markets within the Euro-zone, some Asian nations including African countries.

Focus strategy is a noble market entry concept that the company embraced to the fullest. The strategy was effectively used by focusing synergies in serving certain markets and market segments. The company first executed proper market segmentation that assisted in knowing the particular needs of each segment (Roy, 2009). The segmentation allowed the management to know where to target with product or service. It ensured accuracy in addressing the needs of the people especially patients given that they got relevant services courtesy of the effective segmentation. Certainly, the concept fueled the company’s quest to execute the globalization process with a clear focus on the price that in turn influences the people’s lives effectively.

Additionally, Pfizer Company used market differentiation strategy to gain access to new markets and become the world’s pace setter in research and medicine distribution. Market differentiation enabled the company to service each market depending on the prevailing needs and competition. Markets with low health care needs were not heavily invested on as compared to those with higher needs. Highly competitive markets were also not flooded with products at once. The entry was systematic and it started with unique services in that market. The idea was to avert the possible wastage of resources due to low returns that could be realized in the markets.


The way the world is being divided into areas of health and areas where people are face more risk of illness

The drive to globalize has resulted into more health centers forming clear divisions or segments through which they operate. The division is majorly based on the area of the health issue and challenges that people face such as the risk of illness, areas where new medicine is tested including where they are available (Klug, 2006). The segmentation criteria is helps patients to understand or know where to find certain type of medicine, know where they are tested and how to manage various risk situations. Similarly, the criteria helps health care institutions to understand the health issues patients face hence provide relevant solution. It also allows them to decide effectively on the type of drugs or medicine to test and supply in the market for usage. As noted, globalization is a concept that is characterized by constant circulation of products and services. The circulation is done between nations or countries and it based on the efficiency criteria’s that are structured.

To date, the practice still continues in the health sector. Institutions in the sector globally are constantly striving to ensure that their goods and services are in good circulation (Klug, 2006). They are also keen to foster their acceptance and reception by customers in the market. They circulate medicines, health care professionals, vaccines, medical equipment among other incentives. The objective of the program is to bring health care services closer to people and enable individuals globally to access quality medical care at any location. People can even move to foreign nations to secure the precious services based on the design of the program. It suits movement of people and transfer of medical equipment including staff to where services are necessary. The current trends in the medical sector show clearly how hospitals and various medical service providers conduct globalization programs (Klug, 2006). Most of them organize free consultation and treatment days to give patients the opportunity to get professional treatment and advice on device health issues such as diabetes, cancer, high blood pressure and other chronic illnesses. The mobile provision of the health services has equally resulted in enabling individuals to access health insurance resources efficiently. The schemes allow them to access medical attention at any location globally once covered by the universal insurance schemes provided.


In summary, the globalization of Pfizer foundation was due to the characteristics of the domestic and the global market. The domestic market created a high demand allowing the company to expand and as it expanded, the amount of products manufactured escalated to a level that it was able to sustain the domestic market and still sell to the global market. It can be noted that World War I and II were the major contributing markets for these pharmaceutical products due to the health of the soldiers who were involved in the war. Thus, it can be concluded that, high demand of pharmaceutical products, extensive research and a large crowd of potential customers were the contributing factors to the globalization of Pfizer Inc.


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