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's hunting for safe M&A bets, not high-risk pipeline deals

Pfizer, a deal-minded drugmaker sitting on billions in cash, is more interested in acquiring near-market assets than investing in long-term projects, counting on a blockbuster oncology collaboration to keep its early-stage pipeline afloat.

Novartis, Pfizer and Bristol-Myers hit the gas on R&D last year

Three of the world's largest drugmakers dialed up their R&D budgets in 2014, as Novartis, Pfizer and Bristol-Myers Squibb spent big on costly late-stage programs with hopes of delivering blockbuster new treatments in the coming year.

With generic losses on the horizon, Pfizer puts up a stormy 2015 forecast

Pfizer is forecasting 2015 earnings that ring in below the Street's expectations. But there could be some light at the end of the tunnel for Pfizer, as it posted promising performances for its cancer drugs and vaccine franchise.

Pfizer has $33B and the M&A world at its feet

Pfizer, which spent much of last year trying to acquire U.K. giant AstraZeneca, is now sitting on about $33 billion in cash, and the company's deal pedigree has analysts dreaming of major M&A down the line.

Deal-hungry Pfizer reportedly made a (failed) run at Teva. Who's next?

Two burning questions about Pfizer since the company backed off its ill-fated offer for AstraZeneca last May: Will the U.S.-based drug giant make another swoop at AstraZeneca? If not, who will Pfizer try to buy?

Pfizer wins recommendation for Prevenar expansion in Europe

The European Medicines Agency accepted Pfizer's application to expand its label for blockbuster vaccine Prevenar 13 back in August, and so far, an advisory committee likes what it sees.

MSF urges GSK, Pfizer to slash pneumococcal vaccine prices

The cost of vaccinating a child in the world's poorest countries is much higher than it was in 2001--68 times higher, according to Medecins Sans Frontieres. The international charity has a problem with that, and it's asking pneumococcal disease vaccine makers Pfizer and GlaxoSmithKline to fix it.

23andMe inks Pfizer deal, eyes 2015 resolution of FDA dispute

Days after unveiling a $60 million deal with Genentech, personal genomics pioneer 23andMe struck a new database-driven collaboration with Pfizer. There is even talk of a possible resolution with the FDA in 2015.

Playing catch-up, Pfizer looks to leapfrog Big Pharma's immuno-oncology line

Pfizer is well behind its rival titans in the race to cash in on a new class of cancer treatments. But instead of playing catch-up in skin cancer, the industry first immuno-oncology target, the drugmaker is skipping ahead to the next wave of malignancies.

Don't use generic Lyrica for pain, Pfizer warns U.K. providers--or else

Pfizer has written doctors in the U.K. warning them not to prescribe Lyrica knockoffs to treat neuropathic pain. Seems the company still has a live patent covering Lyrica's use against that type of nerve pain.