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

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.

With limited ACIP nod, U.S. universities take different approaches to Pfizer, GSK MenB jabs

The CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices has stopped short of recommending routine meningitis B immunization, leaving the decision to doctors and families whether young adults aged 16 to 23 should be vaccinated. Result? U.S. universities are taking varying approaches when it comes to MenB jabs and their students.

Study: Pfizer's Chantix does not increase risk of depression, heart attack in smokers

Pfizer has been trotting out positive study data to try to convince the FDA to revoke a black-box warning on its smoking cessation drug Chantix tied to serious psychiatric side effects. Now the company is touting a new study which shows that Chantix does not increase certain cardiovascular or psychiatric symptoms and that it should be recommended for more smokers.

India denies Pfizer application for additional Xeljanz patents

India's Patent Office has denied Pfizer additional patents on rheumatoid arthritis medicine Xeljanz by raising questions on whether the new application proved enhanced efficacy, the Economic Times reported.

Hospira, Philips awarded $69M in DOD contracts

Just as its acquisition by Pfizer closed, Hospira nabbed a $50 million contract from the U.S. Department of Defense. This injectable drug and infusion tech company was not alone on the DOD list. Philips Healthcare was also awarded an $18.8 million contract in the same Sept. 2 disclosure from the DOD.

Trial set for Pfizer in Protonix Medicaid rebate case it inherited

A federal judge's inclination means Pfizer could remain in the line of fire to pay out more than $2 billion. That is the potential liability Pfizer faces for a federal lawsuit accusing its Wyeth unit of failing to pay Medicaid rebates for stomach upset drug Protonix.

UPDATED: J&J-Bayer and Pfizer-BMS look for marketing advantages in real-world Xarelto, Eliquis data

Johnson & Johnson and Bayer are leading the four-horse race among new-age anticoagulants, and they're hoping some new real-world safety data for Xarelto can help keep the med in the No. 1 spot.

Japan's MHLW gives nods for Remicade, VFend, Tracleer, INOflo new indications

Japan's Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare last week gave the nod to several new drug indications, including Mitsubishi Tanabe's Remicade for intravenous use and indications of entero-Behcet, neuro-Behcet and vasculo-Behcet diseases when existing treatments are inadequate, a spokesman for the ministry said.