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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Latest Headlines

Pfizer is opening up clinical trial data to researchers, patients starting in 2014

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Pfizer has always been proud of its design of Viagra, which has become known worldwide for its blue color and diamond shape. It thinks enough of it that it is fighting a pitched legal battle in Korea with drugmaker Hanmi Pharmaceutical over the shape of Hanmi's generic, which has grabbed nearly half the market there.

Pfizer whacking 150 jobs in closure of Irish packaging plant

The past few weeks have seen a spate of pharma manufacturing cuts, with Actavis, Merck and Pfizer all whacking jobs. And Pfizer has continued its busy end to 2013 by revealing it is to close a packaging plant in Ireland, laying off 150 workers in the process.

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Pfizer is shedding 150 employees at its facility in Newbridge, Ireland. The company says the cuts are needed as generic competition continues to eat away at its revenues. The move comes just two weeks after the U.S. drugmaker targeted a plant in Puerto Rico for closure.

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Pfizer: 'Bring your own device' is coming to clinical trials

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Top women in biotech 2013

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Pfizer and its much-discussed palbociclib lead the way in the race to cash in on the blockbuster potential of a new pathway to treat breast cancer, but Novartis' rival drug has stealthily closed the gap, promising to compete much sooner than expected.

Pfizer whacks plant as generics eat sales

Pfizer's last quarter reflected ongoing drag from generic competition, and so the drugmaker keeps whittling away at costs where it can. The latest is its manufacturing operations in Puerto Rico, which have already been slimmed down in recent years.