R&D budget: $7.4B (€5.4B)
Change from 08: -2.4 percent
Income spent on R&D: 15.5%
Once the R&D leader in the industry, Pfizer ($PFE) actually slipped a little in 2009. Pfizer has been working over much of the past year to swallow up Wyeth's ambitious research group. But the combined R&D budget--Wyeth and Pfizer combined spent $11 billion on R&D in 2008--is in line for some huge cuts.
At the beginning of this year CEO Jeffrey Kindler (photo) outlined plans to chop $3 billion out of Pfizer's bloated R&D budget. By 2012, the overall R&D budget number will be downsized to $8 to $8.5 billion--along with a large number of researchers--as it falls more into line with Roche. Like many other drug developers, Pfizer has been treated to a drumbeat of criticism about a failure to develop new blockbusters to replace the big drugs that provide the bulk of its revenue. Those critics want to see more outsourcing and more partnerships and smaller in-house research empires.
This year Pfizer earned a black eye for Dimebon, which the pharma giant licensed for $225 million upfront. That drug failed a high-profile Phase III study for Alzheimer's. But that's just one of a string of clinical trial failures that has frequently put Pfizer on Wall Street's whipping post. Now Pfizer has to dramatically complete its restructuring of R&D even as it faces its biggest clinical challenge in the company's history.
One future spotlight for Pfizer: China. The pharma giant has been ambitiously expanding its research work in Asia as it sets its sights on one of the fest growing emerging markets on the planet.