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 in quick succession turns aside second lawsuit alleging Zoloft birth defects ties

Just weeks after winning the first case to go to trial that accused Pfizer of hiding birth defect risks for the children of women who took the antidepressant Zoloft during pregnancy, the pharma giant has again convinced a jury that there was no credible connection. The results are positive for Pfizer, but the company still faces more than 1,000 lawsuits alleging similar claims.

Inflectra vs. Remicade study could be just what the doctor ordered for biosimilars

A study released today that pitted Hospira's biosimilar Inflectra against its reference drug Remicade in patients with rheumatoid arthritis is good news for Hospira, and by default Pfizer. It found that patients who were switched to the copy did just as well, with no unexpected side effects, as they had on Merck and Johnson & Johnson's Remicade.

Mylan expands cancer drug recall on particle contamination worries

Sterile injectable drugs are notoriously tricky to manufacture. Mylan has found that out the hard way, and it's now expanding a recall of cancer drugs that it began in April because they may contain particulate.

Pfizer scientist warned execs about Zoloft and birth defects, lawyers say

Pfizer executives were warned by one of their own scientists about a potential link between the antidepressant med Zoloft and birth defects, accordingly to a newly surfaced document cited by Bloomberg.

Mylan expands recall of cancer meds made for Pfizer

Sterile injectable drugs are a growth area, but they are notoriously tricky to manufacture. Mylan has found that out the hard way and is having to expand a recall of cancer drugs that it began in April because they may contain particulate. Some of the drugs were manufactured for Pfizer.

Pfizer apologizes to U.K. docs as Lyrica protection campaign hits snag

Pfizer's bid to protect its pain drug Lyrica (pregabalin), which has lost some patent protection in the U.K., has had some unintended side effects.

Orphan drugmaker Sobi tells potential buyer to take a walk

Specialty drugmaker Swedish Orphan Biovitrum (Sobi) has given the cold shoulder to a potential buyer, that may or may not be Pfizer, who was not giving it the kind of financial appreciation that it believes it deserves. But given the frenetic M&A market, an analyst says it is probably just a matter of time before someone snaps up the orphan drugmaker.

Never too old to be young, Pfizer says, with new tack on Get Old campaign

Pfizer's "Get Old" campaign is going in a new direction. The drugmaker's counterintuitive--yet quite successful--aging campaign celebrates turning four with a new look and attitude built around commencing, appropriately timed to the new-graduate season. And it already has older folks taking selfies on the streets of New York.

Takeda consolidates in U.S. amid sharp global vaccine competition

A move by Takeda Pharmaceutical to consolidate its Vaccine Business Unit into hubs should allow sharper focus on a complex set of vaccine programs covering norovirus, dengue and seasonal influenza in an increasingly competitive global horse race.

Pfizer, GE team up on cancer research

Pfizer will send GE biopsy samples for analysis using its MultiOmyx tumor analysis technology and services in a bid to get an upper hand in drug development.