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 reportedly striking deal with Polysan for Russian production

AstraZeneca and Novo Nordisk both opened plants in Russia last year, assuring their spot in that emerging market where authorities are suggesting foreign drugmakers establish some kind of local production if they want to sell into the market. Now Big Pharma's biggest player, Pfizer, is reportedly looking to a Russian partner to get meds produced there.

NHS watchdog takes issue with Pfizer exec's new role on foundation trust's board

A top Pfizer executive joined the board of a National Health Service Trust in England, triggering questions about potential conflicts of interest, an NHS-focused news service reported on Wednesday.

Pfizer looks to Russian partnership to produce some of its meds there, report says

Russia's economy has gotten ugly in the past few years, but that has not dampened the enthusiasm of Big Pharma, which continues to like the look of one of the world's largest emerging markets. Pfizer is reportedly the next up with plans for a partnership to produce some of its meds there.

Big question for Pfizer: Will Enbrel's EU biosim bring on the pain?

Amgen and Pfizer's Enbrel officially has a biosimilar rival in Europe. And if the rollout goes anything like the recent EU launch of Remicade copy Remsima, the blockbuster brand will be in trouble.

Samsung and Biogen win first EU approval for an Enbrel copycat

A joint venture between Biogen and South Korean giant Samsung won Europe's first approval for a lower-cost version of Amgen and Pfizer's blockbuster Enbrel, planning to launch its injection in the coming weeks.

Pfizer invests in 4D Molecular Therapeutics, a maker of gene delivery vectors

Pfizer announced earlier this month that it is financing the drug discovery efforts of four early-stage companies to the tune of a combined $46 million, including 4D Molecular Therapeutics, the maker of a platform for the delivery of gene vectors. In addition, the Big Pharma gained an option to exclusively license at least one adeno-associated virus for cardiac disease targets as a result of the transaction.

Pfizer looks to cut the line in CAR-T with off-the-shelf approach

Pfizer, breaking into the field of re-engineered T cells for cancer, believes its work with partner Cellectis could eventually top the efforts of more advanced rivals including Novartis.

Pfizer expands consumer biz in China with Treerly supplements buy

Pfizer's consumer health unit is said to be destined for sale, but that doesn't mean the business has stopped making its own buys. The drug giant snapped up Treerly Health, the China-based subsidiary of Sirio Pharma, and its portfolio of nutritional products for women, Pfizer said Thursday.

Hospira pump biz nears chopping block as Pfizer mulls sale: Bloomberg

When Pfizer snatched up Hospira last year for $15 billion, the pharma giant said that it didn't have any plans to abandon Hospira's device business once the deal closes. But now Pfizer is having a change of heart, weighing an option to sell Hospira's pump and devices unit as Hospira struggles with its beleaguered business.

For its next pare-down move, Pfizer weighs sale of Hospira pump business: Bloomberg

Pfizer has been contemplating a large-scale breakup for a while, with analysts expecting the company to split off its established drugs business once it integrates assets from last year's $15 billion Hospira buy. Now, with its Hospira purchase under its belt, the company is thinking about selling off the pumps and devices business it picked up through the deal, potentially laying the foundation for a spinoff.