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 chief gets a pay boost, but two underlings get bigger ones

Pfizer CEO Ian Read got a nice pay bump for 2015, with a total package of $23.3 million--more than one-quarter bigger than the previous year's total. But a big chunk of that increase came in the value of his pension. Back that out, and Read's compensation only grew by $280,000.

More vaccines deals for Pfizer? It wouldn't say no, exec says

Over the past year, Pfizer has certainly achieved CEO Ian Read's goal of bulking up beyond best-selling vaccine Prevnar 13. In addition to ushering its meningitis B vaccine through the clinic to an FDA approval, it's made two pickups to expand its marketed portfolio and pipeline. So what's next for the pharma giant's vaccines unit? Perhaps more deals, its leader says.

Pfizer makes it official, it has reversed its decision to close Irish Lipitor plant

Almost two years after announcing it would close a Lipitor-producing plant in Cork County, Ireland, Pfizer has officially said it will keep the plant operational. It turns out there is enough demand around the world for its off-patent cholesterol drug for the plant to remain open "for the foreseeable future."

Lipitor keeps on selling, so Pfizer will keep on producing it in Ireland

It's official: Demand for the off-patent drug Lipitor has inspired Pfizer to keep an Irish plant it had slated for closure.

FDA keeps black box on Pfizer's Chantix, adds new warning about alcohol

Pfizer has been lobbying the FDA to back off of the black-box warning on its stop-smoking drug Chantix. But patient groups and others have been pushing back--including a panel of FDA advisers, which voted last year to keep the agency's boldest warning on Chantix's official label.

BMS, Pfizer's Eliquis gets a NICE boost in rivalry with Pradaxa, Xarelto

Bristol-Myers Squibb and Pfizer got a positive recommendation from the U.K.'s cost gatekeeper for its new-age clot-fighter Eliquis, giving the companies a boost as they chase $3 billion in sales for the drug and compete with rivals Pradaxa and Xarelto.

Pfizer partner Catalyst finds shortcut to Nasdaq in reverse merger with Targacept

South San Francisco-based Catalyst Biosciences, which has kept a low profile in recent years, has jumped back into the spotlight with a reverse merger with Targacept, the beleaguered North Carolina biotech that suffered a long string of embarrassing failures in the clinic.

Pfizer scores new Prevenar indication in Europe

Pfizer's Prevenar 13 is already the world's best-selling vaccine, and it kept on rolling Tuesday with a European label expansion.

Jordan's MS Pharma gets $30M to expand manufacturing there

Western drugmakers finding their way into the Middle East and North Africa are being met by some domestic companies expanding operations in an effort to take on this competition. Among those is MS Pharma, which is now expanding manufacturing in Jordan with a loan from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

The PD-1 wave? Report says it's a $33B tsunami, with BMS surfing for first place

There's a reason immuno-oncology is among the hottest fields in biopharma today--and that's the $20 billion or so in 2022 sales that many analysts estimate. No wonder Bristol-Myers Squibb, Merck, AstraZeneca and Roche are speeding ahead with their research in the field, with Sanofi, Novartis and Pfizer racing to catch up.