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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Lilly, Novartis and Pfizer join with Broad Institute for bioinformatics challenge

A clutch of Big Pharma companies is backing a competition to create predictive models that could lead to new targets for cancer drugs. Eli Lilly, Novartis and Pfizer are among the data funders of the competition, which calls for the development of models that show how essential a gene is to the survival of a cancer cell.

UPDATED: AstraZeneca execs spotlight PD-L1 drug data, vow to beef up cancer drug pipeline

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Pfizer adds another $325M to Neurontin settlement tally. Total? $945M

Off-label marketing strikes again. Pfizer agreed to pay $325 million to wrap up claims that its Parke-Davis unit touted the epilepsy drug Neurontin for uses not approved by the FDA, costing healthcare payers millions in unnecessary spending.

Zydus recall flags another costly bottle mixup

Just after Pfizer made a massive drug recall in March, Indian manufacturer Zydus Cadila is now scrambling to pull 10,200 bottles of allergy pills from shelves manufactured by its U.S. unit after the discovery of a blood pressure pill.

Pfizer launches next new Lipitor copay program, Medicare and ACA included

Pfizer hasn't given up on pumping Lipitor for sales. Its latest marketing tactic? A replay of its bid to keep scripts coming after the statin drug lost patent protection in 2011. The company is rolling out another copay discount program, Lipitor Choice.

AstraZeneca chief bristles at tying exec pay to Pfizer's spurned £55-per-share bid

Hold on a minute, says AstraZeneca CEO Pascal Soriot. Now that the dust has settled on Pfizer's failed bid for the U.K. company, Soriot disputes the wisdom of tying his pay--and that of his fellow executives--to the would-be return on that defunct deal.

Teva, Mylan begin their generic takedown of Pfizer's $2.9B-a-year Celebrex

In March, a U.S. court struck down a key patent for Pfizer's Celebrex, suddenly opening the drug up to copycat rivals. Now, that competition has arrived as the FDA gave the green light to Celebrex copies from Teva Pharmaceutical and Mylan.

Investigator database looking for new members after adding Novartis and Pfizer to ranks

Having made the big decisions about how their database of clinical trial investigators will work, collaborators Eli Lilly, Merck and Johnson & Johnson are looking to add more members to a roster already swelled by the arrival of Novartis and Pfizer.

Pfizer teams up to lift adult vaccination rates--and Prevnar sales, too

Pfizer may so far have come up blank on the marketed vaccines it hoped to pick up through an AstraZeneca merger. But as it weighs any next M&A-related steps to expand its lineup, it's also embarking on a marketing initiative that could boost uptake of its current star, Prevnar 13.

Top 10 best-selling vaccines of 2013

The vaccine market has long been dominated by the Big 3--Sanofi, Merck and GlaxoSmithKline--with Pfizer and Novartis trailing the trio on the list of revenue-generators. But things are changing at the top.