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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Could Pfizer nab AstraZeneca with pipeline-based payouts? Maybe, but cash is easier

When Sanofi bought Genzyme, the deal was clinched on a contingent value right (CVR) based on the potential multiple sclerosis treatment Lemtrada. Could Pfizer do the same thing to win over AstraZeneca?

Could the cunning use of CVRs save a Pfizer-AstraZeneca merger?

With AstraZeneca's CFO telling investors that Pfizer's colossal takeover bid failed purely because it was too cheap, creative dealmakers are looking at new ways to get the two parties shaking hands.

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X-Chem has notched up some notable achievements in its first few years, including investment by CRO PPD, deals with AstraZeneca and Roche and the growth of its compound library to 100 billion small molecules. Now it has added another to the list by striking a drug discovery deal with Pfizer.

Pfizer lost its AstraZeneca bid purely on price, CFO says. What else?

Want to know why the potential Pfizer-AstraZeneca marriage failed? Price, says Pfizer CFO Frank D'Amelio. Stating the obvious, obviously. But in balking at Pfizer's offer, AstraZeneca--and allies in the U.K.--raised plenty of other issues. Emotional issues, for some.

AstraZeneca investors press exec-comp chair to tie pay to Pfizer bid

Several top AstraZeneca shareholders are pressing for meetings with John Varley, the former CEO of Barclays bank who also happens to head up the drugmaker's remuneration committee, Sky News reports. The aim? To follow through on calls to link AstraZeneca executive pay to the value of Pfizer's rejected buyout offer.

Rebel AstraZeneca investors push plan to tie exec pay to rosy R&D projections

AstraZeneca's executive team under CEO Pascal Soriot confidently batted down Pfizer's $120 billion takeover bid by putting an extraordinary valuation on its pipeline, often far exceeding the most optimistic forecasts by industry analysts. And now there appears to be a growing movement among a group of disenchanted investors at the U.K. company to hold management's incentive packages hostage to the sky-high expectations they've created.

Abbott, AbbVie get to defend testosterone lawsuits on their own turf

Lawsuits have been piling up against Abbott Laboratories and its recent spinoff, AbbVie, maker of one of the top-selling testosterone supplements, AndroGel. A panel of judges has now decided that those suits will be consolidated in Chicago, where both companies are based.

How to sell a statin? Pfizer and AstraZeneca have different ideas

It's a tale of two statin drugs and their attempts to keep market share--or build it, as the case may be. Pfizer rolled out a new version of its Lipitor copay discount program, and this time, it applies to patients covered via certain U.S. government programs.

Out with the old, in with the new: Merck, GSK, others put established drugs on the block

Some of pharma's biggest players have already said they're looking into jettisoning their portfolios of older meds or selling off certain established products with an eye toward newer, fast-growing drugs. And as that trend takes flight, other pharma companies may look to make similar moves, The Wall Street Journal 's sources say.

Smells like team spirit: AstraZeneca CEO says Pfizer fight has it pumped to perform

Pascal Soriot says confidently that AstraZeneca will make its forecast of $45 billion in sales by 2023, the one it trotted out during its fight with Pfizer to convince shareholders it was best going it alone.