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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'Breakthrough' nod for Pfizer MenB candidate sets up showdown with Bexsero

Pfizer's approval pathway for its meningococcal B vaccine just got shorter. On Thursday, the FDA designated the candidate, dubbed rLP2086, as a breakthrough therapy, which will speed its trip through the regulatory process--and put it in a head-to-head battle with Novartis' Bexsero.

Pfizer snags a 'breakthrough' tag for its meningitis vaccine in a race with Novartis

Pfizer picked up the FDA's breakthrough therapy designation for an in-development vaccine against meningococcal disease, a common cause of meningitis, lighting the path for an accelerated approval as the drugmaker looks to expand its vaccine portfolio beyond the blockbuster Prevnar 13.

They're no Coca-Cola, but top biopharma brands Pfizer, Biogen and Merck still worth billions

How much is a pharma company's brand worth? More than $4 billion, if that pharma company is Pfizer. It's the most valuable pharma brand in the U.S., according to Brandirectory's latest iteration of the Billion Dollar Brands Club. For a company that's among the biggest prescription drug marketers in the world, that might not be so surprising.

Pfizer sues India's Torrent in latest bid to fend off generic Viagra

With Lipitor already over the patent cliff, Pfizer has been working hard to hang onto exclusivity for its famed erectile dysfunction drug, Viagra. In its latest bid to block generic competition, Pfizer has sued Indian drugmaker Torrent Pharmaceuticals for patent infringement.

Bristol-Myers' Eliquis gets new FDA nod for use after ortho surgery

When Bristol-Myers Squibb and Pfizer launched their new anticoagulant, Eliquis, early last year, Wall Street analysts predicted it would be a $3-billion-a-year blockbuster. After more than a year of struggling to reach that goal, the companies got some good news late Friday, when the FDA approved the drug to reduce the risk of blood clots in the legs and lungs following hip or knee replacement surgery.

Pfizer's impressive Prevnar data isn't enough to win billions in adult sales

Promising data could spell a new recommendation for Pfizer's Prevnar 13 pneumococcal vaccine in older adults, adding up to $1 billion in global sales. But some of Prevnar 13's sales will ride on Pfizer's marketing success with the 65-and-over crowd--which has proven a tough nut to crack for competitor Merck.

Analysts see $1.5B boost for Pfizer on 'better than expected' Prevnar 13 data

Pfizer's Prevnar 13 vaccine slashed the number of pneumonia cases in older adults, according to details from a new study that could add up to $1 billion to its global sales.

Pfizer's billion-dollar Celebrex patent loss has Mylan, Actavis revving up generics

One of Pfizer's top-selling products is suddenly vulnerable to generic competition 18 months earlier than expected. A U.S. court nixed a key Celebrex patent, putting the pain drug up for a sales fight in May. And generics makers Mylan and Actavis are promising to launch their versions as soon as Pfizer's monopoly expires.

Analysts offer mixed reactions to Pfizer's Prevnar 13 data close-up

Last month Pfizer presented positive headline results from its massive Prevnar 13 trial, but the release was light on the details that could shape whether the data leads to an expanded recommendation. Now Pfizer has published a closer look at the data, and not everyone likes what they see.

Hearts, stars, diamonds: Pharma could turn pill shapes into Lucky Charms

The FDA's new guidelines for pill design may be the stick driving drugmakers to consider medication errors when blueprinting their drugs. But there's a carrot, too. With new tablet technologies, companies have more freedom to build their brands by making their pills distinctive.