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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Emerging market demand saves Irish Lipitor plant from closing

A Pfizer plant in Ireland that was slated to close last year is still running strong, as sales of blockbuster cholesterol drug Lipitor remain vibrant in some parts of the world three years after losing its U.S. patent.

Pfizer bails on a $70M rare disease deal with Repligen

Pfizer is walking away from a $70 million collaboration with Waltham, MA's Repligen, handing back some early-stage treatments for the rare spinal muscular atrophy.

Pfizer's Prevenar price cut 'inadequate,' critics say

Last week, international charity Médecins Sans Frontières called on Pfizer to drop its price on pneumococcal vaccine Prevenar 13. The pharma giant responded earlier this week, lopping 20 cents off the per-dose cost through vaccine alliance GAVI. But the way MSF sees it, that's not good enough.

Pfizer paid $400M to dispatch an investor suit over off-label marketing allegations

Last year, Pfizer got a federal judge to toss an investor lawsuit tied to its now-withdrawn pain drug Bextra. But that wasn't the only investor suit raising similar issues--namely that Pfizer's board had not been forthright about marketing allegations involving Bextra and other drugs.

Pfizer extricates itself from investor suit with $400M settlement

Pfizer got a federal judge to toss an investor lawsuit last year tied its now-withdrawn pain drug Bextra. But it wasn't the only investor suit raising similar issues, namely that the board had not been forthright about issues with the drugs. Another was just days away from trial, that is until the drugmaker agreed to settle it for $400 million.

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?