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 teams up to lift adult vaccination rates--and Prevnar sales, too

Pfizer may so far have come up blank on the marketed vaccines it hoped to pick up through an AstraZeneca merger. But as it weighs any next M&A-related steps to expand its lineup, it's also embarking on a marketing initiative that could boost uptake of its current star, Prevnar 13.

Top 10 best-selling vaccines of 2013

The vaccine market has long been dominated by the Big 3--Sanofi, Merck and GlaxoSmithKline--with Pfizer and Novartis trailing the trio on the list of revenue-generators. But things are changing at the top.

Actavis commits $48M to revitalizing Puerto Rico plants

Puerto Rico's drug production sector has had an eventful few years, with investments by Eli Lilly, Bristol-Myers Squibb and others being offset by cutbacks at Merck and Pfizer. Now the island can add another line to its list of positive events: Actavis is investing $48 million to revitalize assets it acquired in the takeover of Warner Chilcott.

As the deal turns: With the Pfizer-AstraZeneca soap opera canceled, time for second-guessing

Pfizer's run at AstraZeneca is officially at an end. No more will-they-or-won't-they speculation, for at least a few months. What we're hearing now is a story of pride, prejudice, poor timing and miscalculation. CEOs and company boards are people, too, after all.

Analysis: A weakened Pfizer signals that it's prepped to wheel and deal

Now that the deadline for any quick deal to acquire AstraZeneca has passed, about the only certainty to emerge from the wrecked takeover is that the last thing Pfizer can do now is go back to business as usual.

UPDATED: Pfizer to AstraZeneca: Say goodbye to our $120B offer

With the official deadline for any immediate takeover discussions looming on Monday, Pfizer picked up its ball and bat and headed for the lockers, officially calling an end to its odd quest to buy out AstraZeneca.

Leading Pfizer and AstraZeneca shareholder BlackRock wants the megamerger

Four times Pfizer has made offers to buy AstraZeneca and four times, the U.K. company has said no. But the world's largest money-management firm hopes in this case no doesn't mean no. BlackRock--which owns 8% of AstraZeneca and 6.8% of Pfizer--is encouraging discussions between the two companies, according to Bloomberg, which cited anonymous sources.

AZ and Europe's 'innovation malaise,' €30M Irish life sciences fund, U.K. cell therapy bags £10M

In the latest EuroBiotech Report, while critics of Pfizer's attempt to buy AstraZeneca spent the week celebrating a major blow to the deal, an awkward question remains: Exactly what has been "saved" from Pfizer's clutches? And more.

Swelling ranks of AstraZeneca's dissident shareholders press for a Pfizer deal

It's not over yet. Another one of AstraZeneca's big investors appears to have joined the rebel group demanding that the board get to the bargaining table and see where it can take Pfizer's latest $120 billion offer. Citing sources, The Wall Street Journal reports that Legal & General, AstraZeneca's 6 th largest shareholder with a 3.5% stake in the company, wrote a letter to the board telling them they should engage in takeover talks.

What next for Pfizer? Perhaps a return to the popular breakup idea

So, Pfizer. What's Plan B? That's what investors are asking, now that CEO Ian Read's $117 billion bid for AstraZeneca hit a wall--and the promised trifecta of lower taxes, cost savings and promising drugs along with it.