Pfizer braces for the future, despite stellar sales in 2009

NEW YORK Pfizer had some impressive results in the earnings report it released Wednesday, but the company is bracing for tough times.

The world’s largest drug maker had $50 billion in sales in 2009, compared with $48.3 billion in 2008, along with profits of $8.6 billion, compared with 2008’s $8.1 billion. The results come in the wake of the company’s acquisition of Wyeth, which helped boost its pipeline and boost its range of products.

Still, the company plans big cuts in research and development. Pfizer and Wyeth spent a combined $11 billion on R&D in 2008, according to published reports, but Pfizer said it would reduce that to between $8 billion and $8.5 billion by 2012.

And Pfizer isn’t alone. According to published reports, AstraZeneca will lay off 3,000 R&D employees by 2013, while GlaxoSmithKline will cut costs by around $394 million.

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