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Read takes over a Pfizer facing many difficulties

Ian Read

Pfizer employs about 500 people in research facilities around St. Louis, according to the St. Louis Business Journal. A shift at the very top of the corporation comes at a trying time for the drugmaking giant.

From the Associated Press: Pfizer Inc. may be the world's biggest drugmaker, but new CEO Ian Read is taking charge at a trying time for the company, and he will have to deal with a declining share price, repeated failures of potential new products and expirations of patents on key drugs. Read replaces Jeffrey Kindler, Pfizer's CEO since 2006. While Kindler's exit came as a surprise, analysts said the choice of 30-year-Pfizer veteran Read indicates big changes are not immediately in store. But are those changes needed? Pfizer is less than a year away from losing exclusivity on the cholesterol drug Lipitor, which brings Pfizer almost $13 billion in annual sales. Pfizer has had trouble developing drugs to replace that revenue, with at least six failing in late-stage clinical testing since early 2009.

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