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

Pfizer finds buyer for Indian plant set to close this month

Pfizer said two months ago that it would close a 55-year-old plant in Thane, India, that it no longer wanted. But someone sees some value in it, and the U.S. drugmaker now says the facility will be sold to an Indian operation for nearly $27 million.

New ulcerative colitis data could help Pfizer's Xeljanz pick up the pace

Rheumatoid arthritis therapy Xeljanz hasn't gotten off to the start Pfizer hoped, but new indications could give it a boost. On that front, the company reported positive results on Monday from a pair of trials evaluating the med in ulcerative colitis.

Sanofi, Pfizer said to be among suitors for Mexico's Rimsa

Big Pharma is going fishing in the Mexican drug market.

UPDATED: FDA asks Pfizer for Zoloft label update highlighting birth defect risks

For years, Pfizer has shrugged off claims that its antidepressant Zoloft causes heart defects in newborns, fighting a raft of litigation alleging that the company did not adequately warn pregnant women taking the med about its potential risks. Now the FDA is weighing in on the issue, asking the company to acknowledge some studies that link Zoloft to heart defects in babies.

Pfizer mulls early-stage site to tap into German research infrastructure

Pfizer is considering setting up a research site in Germany, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung reports. The investment would represent a rare foray by a Big Pharma into basic research in Germany, but Pfizer's chief in the country thinks the ability to work with existing academic and medical institutions means the plan has merits.

UPDATED: Pfizer Chinese JV partner Zhejiang Hisun Pharma has products banned by FDA

The Chinese half of a Pfizer joint venture has found itself crosswise with the FDA, which has banned products from one of its plants and written it up in warning letter.

Advera Health Analytics: Merck statins linked to more muscle side effects than rest of class

Statins have been linked with cardiovascular problems as well as amnesia and mental decline. But neurological side effects are not turning up as frequently in postmarketing safety data. And muscle-related side effects, which are also commonly linked to the drugs, show up more often in three Merck products than in the rest of the class.

U.K. judge backs Lyrica generic, scolds Pfizer for 'groundless' threats to docs

Pfizer has not only lost a key patent fight over Lyrica in Britain. It's now under fire for threatening legal action against doctors and pharmacies to enforce that very patent.

Back-to-school MenB shots are de rigueur at some colleges, but others won't stock them

The Centers for Disease Control immunization committee stopped short of advising routine vaccination against meningitis B, instead leaving the decision up to doctors and families. And now, U.S. universities are tackling MenB vaccination in a multitude of ways.

Evotec teams up with Pfizer for fibrosis R&D

Hybrid R&D outfit Evotec signed a deal with Pfizer to collaborate on tissue fibrosis research, lending its expertise and discovery technology to the pharma giant in exchange for a cut of the benefits.