Pfizer takes top spot in docs' vaccine ranking by 'huge margin'

Physicians are unequivocal about who is the big kahuna in the vaccine industry. Asked to rank vaccine manufacturers on five metrics, physicians produced a leaderboard that reads Pfizer, yawning gap, Merck.

ZoomRx generated the ranking by asking 50 physicians to name the top vaccine manufacturers in five areas: reputation, innovation, patient centricity, promotions and HCP centricity. The doctors ranked 13 vaccine manufacturers, but the same name kept appearing toward the top of their lists, regardless of the metric being assessed. 

Around 80% of respondents ranked Pfizer as one of the top three companies in every category. Merck came closest to keeping pace with Pfizer but was still a long way back. The closest Merck got to Pfizer was in the innovation and patient centricity categories, where the front-runner had a 23 percentage point lead over second place. 

“Pfizer leads by a huge margin across all metrics,” ZoomRx wrote in its assessment of the results. “Their quick response to the pandemic with the COVID-19 vaccine is still holding high regards and recognition.”

As ZoomRx noted, Pfizer’s vaccine team followed up its pandemic success with three launches last year. The Big Pharma entered the nascent respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) space with Abrysvo, added Prevnar 20 to its successful pneumococcal franchise and broke new ground with its meningitis vaccine Penbraya. Pfizer’s CEO bemoaned the “bad launch” of Abrysvo, but sales still hit $515 million in the fourth quarter.

Pfizer’s rivals for the COVID-19, RSV and pneumococcal markets feature in the chasing pack. Merck came in second on four of the five metrics, only slipping to third place behind Moderna on the reputation rank. Moderna and GSK fought for third place across the other categories. Sanofi was fifth on all the metrics.

Discussing opportunities open to manufacturers, ZoomRx said physicians look for players with a broad portfolio of vaccines that elicit strong responses and provide long-lived immunity for a large population. The analysts also see scope to gain ground by establishing patient assistance programs and working with healthcare professionals to increase access to vaccines.