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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Could soaring vaccine prices spark Sovaldi-style payer pushback?

With the expense of vaccine production often higher than the manufacturing costs for pharmaceuticals, vaccines once led losses for their manufacturers. But today, vaccines--like Pfizer's Prevnar 13, which scored more than $4 billion in worldwide sales last year--can be highly profitable.

Judge tosses decade-old investor suit against Pfizer and Celebrex weeks before trial

A long-running and often contentious securities lawsuit tied to Pfizer's vilified pain drugs Celebrex and Bextra was set for a September trial, but is going into the dustbin of history instead. A federal judge in New York has dismissed the case a decade after it was filed and 9 weeks before proceedings were to commence.

Pfizer yanks 220,000 Pristiq bottles on pill mix-up

For the second time in recent months, Pfizer is recalling hundreds of thousands of bottles of a drug when one was found to contain the wrong tablet.

Pfizer recalling 221,000 bottles of Pristiq as tablet mix-up again trips it up

For the second time in recent months, Pfizer is having to recall hundreds of thousands of bottles of a drug when one was found to contain the wrong tablet. Pfizer says a single 100 mg tablet of Pristiq Extended Release was found in a 50 mg bottle but the drugmaker is taking no chances and is recalling four lots of the the antidepressant drug.

Why do vaccines cost so much? Ask Pfizer about Prevnar 13

We're accustomed to the fact that U.S. payers shell out more for drugs and vaccines than payers in other countries that have cost-conscious government gatekeepers. But a new analysis by  The New York Times  shows that, in the vaccines market, pricing is even more schizophrenic than that.

Aiming for distinction in a tough market, Pfizer nabs (unnecessary) kosher label for Gaucher drug

Few people noticed when Pfizer announced kosher certification for its Gaucher disease treatment Elelyso. So the company reposted its press release. And now, the news is getting some media play that could prove just as important in forming patient relationships as the certification itself.

Pfizer gets access to more production capacity in Saudi Arabia with Tabuk deal

Pfizer has a manufacturing plant underway in Saudi Arabia that is slated to be operating next year. But the drugmaker has just struck a deal that will give it access to additional capacity, as well as products, in that country.

J&J, Pfizer in tug-of-war over ads for Infants' Advil

Back in 1989, a court order limited advertising claims for Advil, now owned by Pfizer. But does that order extend to Infants' Advil, which didn't exist at the time? Rival Johnson & Johnson says yes--and it's forced Pfizer to pull one of its ads for that very reason.

Prevnar use in seniors is cost-effective now, CDC says. But will it last?

After meeting to discuss the use of Pfizer's Prevnar 13 in adults 65 and older late last week, a CDC advisory committee isn't planning to vote on recommendation of the shot just yet. But when it does, it will have a few things to consider--including Prevnar's long-term cost effectiveness in that population--before giving it a nod.

Pfizer to partner with South African university on preclinical research

The partnership may include the use of Pfizer's genetically modified animal models to evaluate the safety and efficacy of therapeutic molecules in oncology, inflammation, immunology, central nervous system and cardiovascular system disorders.