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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Pentagon tasks Pfizer with radically rethinking vaccine development

Vaccines have basically worked the same way for decades. A pathogen antigen is isolated, used as the basis of a vaccine and administered to the patient. The Pentagon thinks there might be a better way of doing things, and it has tasked Pfizer with investigating its hunch.

Text mining 88,000 papers gives Pfizer a drug safety database

Biopharma researchers have accrued a huge library of chemical safety data over the past 60 years, but--as is often the case--much of it is tied up in formats that make computational analysis impossible.

Pfizer will give clinical trial info to patients

Pfizer says it will support the trend toward making more data from clinical trials available by providing easy-to-understand summaries to patients who participate in the independent studies.

Pfizer starts to unlock the data vault on drug studies

With pressure growing on Big Pharmas to be more transparent with their drug data, Pfizer says it plans to start unlocking the data vaults, with special plans to allow easy access for patients in studies to check out their personal info.

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

With pressure mounting on drugmakers to make clinical trial data more transparent, Pfizer has started to take steps to open up its results, unveiling more concrete details and a timeline for adoption this week.

Pfizer fights Hanmi in Korea over its Viagra design

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.

Pfizer cutting 150 more jobs in Ireland in face of weak sales

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.

Pfizer keeps piling onto consumer health business

Pfizer likes the growth potential in the over-the-counter niche, and so it keeps piling new products onto the unit from around the world, ignoring investors who would like to it unload the business and share the wealth.

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

When Pfizer began its virtual trial in 2011, the technology it used was at the forefront of innovation in clinical research. Yet two years later, some of the ideas are already looking dated, with the rise of smartphones meaning Pfizer now foresees participants using their own devices, instead of dedicated tools.