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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J&J recalls contraceptives for subpotency

J&J's Janssen unit is recalling one lot of Ortho-Cept tablets because of the potential that the potency of the two active ingredients may not meet specifications, Health Canada reports.

Pfizer's Lyrica team matches the spokesman to the message

Many pharma companies create DTC efforts around a branded product, but plenty of drugmakers go the disease education route, too. So when is the right time to use each? That all depends on the population a pharma is trying to reach, and as Pfizer found recently, sometimes they can be used simultaneously to get targeted messages across to different patient groups.

UPDATED: Pfizer accused of misleading consumers with oversized Advil bottles

A federal lawsuit has put an over-the-counter drug packaging practice in the spotlight by trying to extract a penalty from Pfizer for using "nonfunctional slack-fill."

Following a setback, Pfizer gets a win in Phase III cancer drug study

Two years after going down in flames in a Phase III study for CD22-positive non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, Pfizer has helped resurrect hopes for top drug prospect inotuzumab ozogamicin, saying the drug hit its first primary endpoint for spurring hematologic remission in patients with CD22-positive acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

Pfizer prevails in first court test of Zoloft birth-defect claims

Pfizer racked up an important win in the first trial over Zoloft's alleged links to birth defects. A St. Louis jury decided on Friday that the drug giant isn't liable for congenital abnormalities in a boy whose mother took Zoloft during her pregnancy.

Gilead's hep C drugs make it king of the hill in U.S. drug sales

The U.S. drug market is the largest in the world and just about every drugmaker wants the biggest piece of it that it can get. For 2014 that honor goes to biotech Gilead Sciences, whose hep C drugs vaulted it to the top, according to  PMLiVE  based on sales info from GlobalData.

Pfizer's palbociclib impresses in PhIII breast cancer study

Pfizer reported today that it had cut short a Phase III study of palbociclib, recently approved under an accelerated pathway as Ibrance, after clearly demonstrating that it had met its primary endpoint: progression-free survival with a combination of Ibrance plus fulvestrant in women with hormone receptor positive, human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 negative metastatic breast cancer.

Pfizer's Ibrance shines in latest breast cancer study

Pfizer won accelerated approval of Ibrance as a first-line breast cancer treatment in February. Now it says that data in a study of the drug as a second-line treatment was so good that it stopped that study early.

Tech it out: Pfizer, AARP and UnitedHealthcare push innovation

It's no secret that technology is transforming healthcare. But Big Pharma? Not quite yet. Some risk-averse drugmakers have been slow to adopt the digital lifestyle.

Japan's RegImmune joins with Pfizer on Type 1 diabetes antigen candidate

Japan's RegImmune has joined with Pfizer and the former Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation in a partnership to collaborate on research for an antigen-specific preventative for Type 1 diabetes. Financial arrangements were not disclosed, but Pfizer is to provide finances and expertise.