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Global Commerce: Pfizer Inc.

August 26, 2011 > Posted in News, News & Events

When it comes to consumer health care, Pfizer is a household name across the country and the globe. Advil? That’s Pfizer. ChapStick? Centrum? Pfizer as well.

In Albany, Pfizer – the world’s largest research-based pharmaceutical company with a 162-year history – manufactures ThermaCare, air-activated therapeutic heat wraps.  Domestically, ThermaCare has been a favorite for over-the-counter joint and muscle pain management.

With steady work and a clear strategy, the product has made its way into the global market as well. Pfizer’s ThermaCare has expanded into countries including Canada, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, France, Italy, Colombia, Netherlands and the United Kingdom. Today, ThermaCare – which is produced only in Albany – exports about 38 percent of its product to international markets.

Kenyatta Sherrod, site manager of Pfizer’s Albany facility, attributes the rising popularity of ThermaCare in foreign countries in part to lifestyle.

“A lot of places that we’re going into globally don’t believe in pills,” said Sherrod, an Albany native. “Having a product that’s external to your body and can get some of the same benefits … as two acetaminophen (is a plus).”

By next summer, he said, ThermaCare could be in another 12 countries.

“It’s growing,” he said of his international market.

Sherrod, who started with ThermaCare seven years ago when it still part of Procter & Gamble and has been site manager at Pfizer for three years, said one of the things that sets his product apart from store-brand competitors is ThermaCare’s pod-like design.

“Basically, it’s the safety profile,” he said. “Our pods allow us to distribute the heat in a safe manner, versus the teabag setup, in which your heat engine is isolated to a specific area, and where that area has a greater potential of overheating.”

Pfizer employs 89 people in Albany.

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