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

Study finds giving Prevnar and flu vaccine together raises risk of fever

Fever is a common side effect of many vaccinations; an estimated one-third of people receiving Pfizer's Prevnar 13 develop a mild case. Flu vaccines also cause cases, prompting researchers to investigate a question--does giving the shots simultaneously raise the risk of fever? The resulting study suggests the answer is yes. 

UPDATED: China suspends imports of Pfizer's antifungal Diflucan on a paperwork problem

Foreign drugmakers have had their fair share of struggles in China this year as the country looked to cut down on healthcare spending and root out bribery. But neither of those factors caused a Tuesday holdup of a Pfizer drug. Instead, the company is blaming a paperwork problem for an import suspension on antifungal drug Diflucan.

Schulman leaves Pfizer weeks before start date of new top vaccine job

When Pfizer unveiled plans to carve up the business into three units, the company's top lawyer Amy Schulman was one of the big winners. Schulman was to take charge of a new unit that combined the vaccine, cancer and consumer products businesses. Now, two weeks before Schulman was due to start in the role, she is out of a job.

Pfizer gives Teva a lift with deal for Viagra generic launch in 2017

After years of wrangling over Pfizer's patent on Viagra, Teva Pharmaceutical Industries has made a deal. Under an agreement with Pfizer, the Israeli generics giant can launch its version of the blockbuster pill on Dec. 11, 2017, more than two years before its final patent protection expires. 

Pfizer head-scratcher: Schulman was toasted on Thursday, toast by Tuesday

As recently as last Thursday, Pfizer's Amy Schulman was fully expecting to move into a new and better job at Pfizer on Jan. 1. By Tuesday, she was out of a job altogether. So writes Fortune' s Patricia Sellers, who lunched with Schulman last week in New York.

Amy Schulman, tapped to lead a new Pfizer division, makes an abrupt exit

In July, Amy Schulman looked to be one of the most powerful women in Big Pharma. As part of CEO Ian Read's plan to split Pfizer's internal operations into three distinct units, he tapped Schulman to lead the company's vaccines, oncology and consumer healthcare business. Now, Schulman is out.

Siemens becomes one of Pfizer's many companion diagnostics suitors

Siemens will concoct diagnostic tests for some Pfizer drugs, the German conglomerate has disclosed. As is the norm with these type of deals, neither side is releasing financial details.

Genocea begins a PhI trial of its rival to Pfizer's Prevnar

The huge sales generated by Prevnar 13 mean Pfizer appears to have the pneumococcal vaccine sector sewn up, but Genocea Biosciences sees an opportunity to disrupt the monopoly. This week, the biotech began a Phase I clinical trial of the vaccine it thinks can unseat Prevnar.

Pfizer loses its Supreme Court bid to squash $142M Neurontin verdict

It was March 2010 when Pfizer first lost its bid to escape a $142 million racketeering verdict, with a federal jury ruling the company's marketing of epilepsy treatment Neurontin violated both federal and state law. Now, nearly four years later, Pfizer's appeal process has come to the end of the line. The Supreme Court has refused to hear the drugmaker's appeal, leaving the verdict intact and the door open for similar claims to proceed.

Pfizer's unlocked trial data could be a boon to CROs

Pfizer has joined the list of Big Pharmas caving to public pressure and opening up their data vaults, and that could mean a valuable trove of study results for CROs plotting new trials--assuming the drugmaker feels like sharing.