It took disciplined investment, hard work, some exceptionally difficult decisions and some winning alliances, but Pfizer has it—a truly exciting Phase III pipeline. Now we move to a critical stage—bringing this pipeline home, with the customer top of mind, so that we deliver its potential to patients and investors in the years to come.
This task is complicated by the realities of drug approvals and health care today. It takes a stronger-than-ever case to convince regulators to approve a new medicine, especially in primary care, where the new entry may be used by millions of people. It also takes a strong case for the value of the new medicine to convince payers that it's worth the cost when compared with other alternatives. That's why Pfizer's move to more agile business units was important, and the migration of late-stage clinical development to those business units equally important. Moving the final stage of development into a smaller unit means that lines of accountability for commercialization become very short and straight. Inside Primary Care, we've established Medicines Team Leaders, each of whom is empowered to make the key decisions to move a compound forward. The back and forth through the layers of decision-makers is gone, speeding development, which is very important when the lives and well-being of patients are at stake.
We are making a profound change. We learned the lessons of some high-profile failures. It's not what you invent. It's what customers are willing to pay for. Pfizer has moved in three years from a company telling customers what we have, to one genuinely listening to our customers and asking them what they need. Our new approach is designed not just to consult with customers, but to involve customers in every stage of a medicine's life cycle.
Add that to a strong portfolio of compounds and you recognize the potential. I'm especially excited about tanezumab, a potential breakthrough for chronic pain. Tanezumab represents everything that's changed about Pfizer. It came from Rinat, a biotech acquisition we made largely for its Alzheimer's disease work. Here was tanezumab, a hidden gem in Rinat's portfolio. We moved it to Phase III very efficiently. And now, inside Primary Care, there is a group taking on the awesome and exciting responsibility to move this compound forward.
It's customers all the way. The first question we ask in any new development, any new insight, is "What's in this for our customers?" Because if our customers are well served, then Pfizer will do well. And if Pfizer does well, then all of us, colleagues and investors alike, do well.
Briggs W. Morrison, a Harvard-trained physician, joined Pfizer in 2007 and is Senior Vice President and Head of Medicines Development for Primary Care. Prior to coming to Pfizer, he led Merck's oncology clinical development.