The leader in pharma sales, Pfizer is well known thanks to several household name drugs, including Lipitor, Advil, Celebrex, Zithromax and the ever-abundant "little blue pill," Viagra. As the company looks at the looming Lipitor patent cliff, CEO Ian Read has been searching for new methods to keep revenue high, other than new approved drugs. Recently, the company has been considering spinning off portions of the company to create smaller, more profitable arms, a polar opposite of former CEO Jeffrey Kindler's bulk-up strategy of years past. The company's past purchases and mergers have included King Pharmaceuticals, Warner-Lambert, SUGEN and a $68 billion purchase, Wyeth, in 2009.

Wyeth provided Pfizer with an influx of 17 new drugs and vaccines, including Enbrel, Effexor, Prevnar and Pristiq, and Pfizer declared the merger made them "one of the most diversified companies in the global health care industry." And the company continues to move forward as it focuses on hot areas, including Alzheimer's, oncology and vaccines.

The company's legal woes have caused headaches as well. Pfizer has paid over $340 million in settlements for its menopause treatment, Prempro and has 1,200 cases pending for the anti-smoking drug Chantix. Back in 2009, it paid $1.3 billion for illegal marketing fines for the painkiller Bextra, making it the largest fine in United States history.

Pfizer has stayed in the top two on FiercePharma's annual layoffs list for the past three years, thanks in part to the company's 2009 megamerger with Wyeth, and the pressure could be felt for another five years. The company also placed second in the Top 15 R&D Budgets, with $7.4 billion in 2009. But those numbers will continue to slip as Pfizer looks towards development deals instead of in-house research.

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Pfizer concedes Celebrex to Actavis, Teva after 2015 patent strike-down

Pfizer has settled its patent fight with Teva Pharmaceutical Industries and Actavis, allowing both generics companies to launch Celebrex copies in December at the latest. That's 6 months after the 2014 patent expiration, but 12 months ahead of the reissued 2015 method patent.

Pfizer to plunk down $190M to wrap up Neurontin class action

In the latest settlement of a Big Pharma-delays-generics case, Pfizer has agreed to pay $190 million to wrap up a class-action suit over its seizure drug Neurontin. More than a decade old, the lawsuit claimed that Pfizer did some fast tap-dancing to prolong its Neurontin monopoly.

Bulk up or slim down? Maybe both: Pfizer said to weigh a $100B deal for AstraZeneca

We thought Pfizer was on a diet. After all, CEO Ian Read has garnered investor acclaim for his unit sales and spinoffs, and more of that action is expected. But the U.S.-based drug behemoth reportedly made a $100 billion-plus merger pitch to its struggling rival AstraZeneca. That would be quite a deal to digest.

Say what? Pfizer's $101B buyout pitch to AstraZeneca sparks a megadebate

Pfizer has reportedly made overtures offering to buy the struggling pharma giant AstraZeneca for $101 billion, setting the stage for what could be the first megamatchup in pharma land in years.

Pfizer, PhRMA and others pick holes in FDA social media guidance

Drugmakers received the first slice of FDA social media guidance in January, and now the FDA's mailbag is filling up with letters on First Amendment protections, "jurisdictional creep" and other topics from the likes of Pfizer and PhRMA.

Pfizer, AstraZeneca back a new strategy for cancer drug R&D

A pair of pharma giants have partnered with a prominent cancer research charity in the U.K. on an innovative new approach to testing targeted oncology therapies, building on the country's national program for tumor testing in a way that may help make it a global center of cancer R&D.

ViiV recalls 1,000 bottles of Tivicay for cross-contamination

Tivicay, a combo HIV drug from GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer and Shionogi that is pegged to become a blockbuster, was only approved last summer, but the companies are having to recall a small portion of it because of cross-contamination.

GSK logistics program improves on-time delivery to 90%

Cutting supply chain costs has become a focus of the industry as drugmakers realized that buying supplies and getting them to plants takes more time, trouble and expense than they at first realized. Like others, U.K. drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline has taken steps to get a handle on that, LogisticsManager reports.

Lilly, Pfizer partner with Lieber Institute on brain research

The Lieber Institute for Brain Development is partnering with Astellas, Eli Lilly, Lundbeck, Pfizer and Roche to launch an early-stage research consortium to study the genetic mechanisms at work in brain disorders.

UPDATED: Pfizer's flagship palbociclib stymies cancer progression but falls short on survival

In the first detailed glimpse of palbociclib's impact on overall survival--a key feature to the future prospects of this flagship program--the therapy has failed to demonstrate a statistically significant improvement in extending patients' lives after an initial assessment.