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.

Tag:

Pfizer

Latest Headlines

Latest Headlines

SPOTLIGHT: JAMA editor scolds Pfizer for subpoenas

The Journal of the American Medical Association lambasted Pfizer for threatening the "integrity" of its peer-review-based decision-making system by subpoenaing peer reviews for its Celebrex and

Pfizer might be liable for generic Neurontin

You may pay the fine though you never collected the revenue. That's what a Philadelphia judge told Pfizer and Warner-Lambert last week in a trial over off-label marketing of Neurontin. If the

Abbott wins pharma pay prize (so far)

This may be the biggest Pharma Chief paycheck we've seen so far: Abbott Laboratories' CEO Miles White (photo) made $33.4

Alkermes cuts staff after Lilly axes pact

Big Pharma's collective stampede from the inhaled insulin field is claiming the jobs of 150 people who work at Alkermes. The developer said it is cutting 18 percent of its staff due to

SPOTLIGHT: Who's the best CEO of them all?

Who'll brave the pitfalls of generic competition and restless shareholders and pipeline pressure to be the last Big Pharma/Big Biotech CEO standing? That's what the WSJ Health Blog is asking with a

Rumor Mill: AZ a possible Shire suitor

Shire is suddenly the talk of the town as investors and investment banks publicly mull a match-up with AstraZeneca. The U.K. drugmaker's stock gained 7 percent today after UBS said AstraZeneca could

Ranks of sales reps thinning

Fewer reps are knocking on doctors' doors these days. A consulting firm that advises most of Big Pharma says

Pfizer won't get access to NEJM reviews

Listen to all the medical journals breathing a collective "Whew!" A federal judge in Illinois said "nay" to Pfizer's request for peer-review documents from the New England Journal of Medicine. The

Wyeth, Pfizer chiefs see pay decline

Here's the latest installment in the exciting serial entitled "Pharma Paycheck, or Which Way But Up?" For recently retired Wyeth

ALSO NOTED: Does FDA scrutinize new generics enough?; BMS shops baby-food business;

> Are generics as good as brand-name drugs? The Los Angeles Times questions the FDA's generic-approval process, which leans lightly on drug makers.