20 years after Viagra was launched, no other pill was able to replace the revolutionary blue erection pill. Reports said Pfizer is still looking for something that can replace the Viagra, but the chances of discovering another drug may be decreasing as the pharmaceutical giant have limited its research and development budget with amid broader cost-cutting efforts. According to the projections released in February, Pfizer has announced that it will spend $7.4 to $7.9 billion this year on R&D, compared with $7.7 billion last year. Even the rival companies such as Merck and Johnson & Johnson are throwing more money in the R&D; Pfizer’s limited budget shows that the company is taking a step down from any further medical research.

Most of the leading companies ended their research programs in January into treatments for Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. The companies cut over 300 jobs with a justification that it would invest the funds in other areas. Though setting up a Pharmaceutical R&D is a tricky business in the United States, Pfizer is rigorously coming up with various drug makers with a model where the companies share risks and benefits going on in the market. Pfizer had earlier announced its announced strategic partnerships with Merck and Bristol-Myers Squibb, while also collaborating with biotechs and university researchers in areas such as oncology and immunology.

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After introducing its several collaborations, Pfizer is confident about the future success. “Our current pipeline is poised with an opportunity to deliver up to an additional 15 potential blockbusters over the next five years,” News18 quoted a Pfizer spokesman as saying. Pfizer has had other highly lucrative drugs besides Viagra, including the anti-cholesterol drug Lipitor, the anti-depressant Zoloft and the anti-inflammatory drug Celebrex. The company said it is confident of future success. The spokesperson also stated that the company’s R&D budget has always remained consistent. In last year, the revenue dropped slightly to $52.5 billion. According to company projections, the group expects sales to rise by 5% in 2018.

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