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.



Latest Headlines

Latest Headlines

Big Pharma players team with NIH to build a diabetes genomics database

One in three people in the U.S. either already have or are at high risk of developing diabetes, and analyzing genetic data for answers about how best to treat these patients is a daunting task. Now a collection of Big Pharma companies are teaming up to share the burden.

The top drug delivery partnerships of 2013

In the biotech and pharma industries, drug delivery is a crucial aspect of research and development. Finding new ways to deliver old drugs, ways to make a new drug more efficient or ways that make a...

That drug's got personality. But is it 'original,' 'dependable,' or both?

Do drugs have personalities? Well, according to a new study, consumers think they do. And the way consumers perceive a drug's personality offers some clues for shaping those perceptions.

Big Pharma superteam joins NIH to share data, discover new drugs

The National Institutes of Health has persuaded 10 rival drugmakers to briefly set aside their competitive spirits and collaborate on drug discovery projects in four major diseases, pooling their data and expertise to kick-start early-stage efforts.

Pfizer's promising results for palbociclib stir talk of early approval push

A few days ago, as Pfizer executives reviewed the pharma giant's numbers for 2013 and plans for 2014, analysts detected a growing willingness to see if they could hunt up an accelerated approval for palbociclib if the Phase II study for breast cancer rang up promising results.

Pfizer pins hopes on vaccine data to kick-start revenue growth

Pfizer has spent the past few years trying to turn its sprawling, expensive R&D operation into an efficient, slimmed down drug development machine. The cost cutting side has gone well. Now it needs to show the R&D team can make money too by delivering a new wave of drugs and vaccines.

Pfizer finds its sweet spot on R&D spending, but faces big trouble delivering new drugs

Pfizer made good last year on its promise to slash its R&D expenses to what it believes is a more sustainable figure, whacking about $800 million out of its research budget from the year before and settling into a sweet spot of $6.6 billion for 2013.

Pfizer's slim-down boosts earnings as Lipitor losses put a damper on sales

Pfizer is on a diet, and it shows. The company pumped up 2013 earnings despite a sizable slide in sales, thanks to layoffs and cost cuts, not to mention the successful spinoff of its animal health business, Zoetis. And it's looking for more of the same for 2014.

Pfizer weighs legal options as PA Supreme Court revives Redux design-defect suit

Pennsylvania's high court put drug design-defect claims on the menu for patients looking to sue for damages. In a closely watched case against Pfizer's Wyeth unit, the state Supreme Court reinstated claims that the company negligently designed and marketed a diet pill, Redux, that's now withdrawn from the market.

A top Pfizer drug flops in two PhIII lung cancer studies

One of Pfizer's top cancer drug prospects in the late-stage pipeline failed the first two Phase III studies for non-small cell lung cancer, presenting the pharma giant with a key setback for its oncology group.