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'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.

The top 10 pharma companies in social media

Chatting with the public is not in pharma's comfort zone. Drugmakers are adept at the one-way communication known as direct-to-consumer advertising, and some of them deal well with the media....

Pfizer's pain med clears PhIII as long-delayed Remoxy waits in the wings

Pfizer posted some promising top-line results for a Phase III pain drug, an abuse-resistant formulation of oxycodone that sounds quite a bit like Remoxy, the long-delayed treatment codeveloped with Pain Therapeutics. 

Valeant, Mylan and Actavis eye Pfizer's brand-new generics unit for buyout: Reuters

Pfizer celebrated three birthdays January 1. That's when it officially divided its business into three distinct units, each with its own management and financial reporting--and each with its own prospect of setting off on its own, at least eventually. Analysts are betting that one of those three businesses will be first to go: Already, potential buyers are buzzing.

Pfizer trialing video game designed to diagnose Alzheimer's

The game attempts to assess whether someone has Alzheimer's by evaluating how well they respond to distractions and interruptions.

Pfizer taps risk-sharing researcher Avillion for cancer PhIII

Contract researcher Avillion launched last year with a novel approach to contract drug development, planning to team up with Big Pharmas on late-stage assets and take drugs to the finish line in exchange for a cut of the proceeds. Now the London company has reeled in a big-name partner in Pfizer, signing on to run a Phase III study of the cancer-fighting Bosulif.

Pfizer asks Akili: Can a video game really diagnose Alzheimer's?

When it comes to Alzheimer's research, success stories are few and far between. Therapeutic programs center around vaccines and drugs, but Akili Interactive Labs wants to change all that: The Boston-based startup recently signed a deal with Pfizer to see if its mobile video game platform can help diagnose early signs of Alzheimer's.

Durect, Impax tie up for a shingles patch to last 6 times as long as Lidoderm

Impax Laboratories is tapping Durect Corporation for its mid-stage transdermal patch Eladur, which is designed to ease the pain associated with shingles. For exclusive rights to the delivery tech, Impax agreed to pay up to $63 million to Durect when all is said and done.