NEW YORK, NY – MARCH 03: A pharma company, Nicorette, makes a pill during the annual meeting of the American Society for Clinical Oncology at The Javits Center on March 3, 2017 in New York City.
The industry’s $20 billion in sales is expected to be hit hard by a weaker dollar and the rise of online shopping.
(Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images) NEW YORK (AFP) – Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer has spent $200m on a new nicotine product, its biggest ever investment, in a bid to counter rising anti-nicotine sentiment, the Wall Street Business Journal reported on Wednesday.
The drug maker said the investment will help it combat a declining share of the global market for nicotine and to bolster its efforts to help people quit smoking.
“The Pfizer team is focused on helping people kick the habit of nicotine addiction,” said Richard Nadelmann, senior vice president of global strategy for Pfizer, in an emailed statement.
“We are investing in nicotine-delivery technologies to deliver safer and more effective nicotine solutions to the public, to combat addiction, and to reduce health care costs.”
With our new investment, we are continuing to invest in innovative technologies that will make our product and our industry more cost-effective,” he added.
A new Pfizer drug called Sip, sold under the brand name Sipro, is designed to help smokers quit.
Its manufacturer, Bristol-Myers Squibb, is planning to market the product in a similar way to that of its nicotine-free alternative Nalgene, the Journal said.
The Pfiser announcement follows recent news reports that Pfizer is moving to increase its funding for anti-smoking initiatives.
On Friday, the pharmaceutical giant also announced it was buying up to 50 percent of the stake in its flagship nicotine brand, Nescafé, for up to $1 billion.
Pfizer and Nescafe have long been competitors, and Pfizer was the first to introduce Nescafa in the U.S. in 1995.
Nescafecone, which Pfizer said was a second generation of Nescaffe, was the world’s best-selling nicotine replacement product.
Its launch helped propel Nescaft in a U.K. market dominated by a local firm, Lorillard.
The U.KS. is the world leader in the use of Nalgacontrols, which include Nescavone, but Pfizer’s strategy has led to Nescave sales dropping in the United States, where they account for more than 30 percent of total sales.
Its latest effort to counter waning sales comes after a number of prominent scientists and doctors, including former Vice President Joe Biden, have urged people to quit smoking in recent months.
The latest move to address rising anti “nicotine” sentiment follows reports that some companies are investing billions of dollars in new nicotine products in the wake of President Donald Trump’s campaign promises to ban all tobacco use.
Last week, Pfizer announced plans to buy Lorillard’s Nescasafé unit, which is used in about half of all nicotine-based products sold in the European Union.