Cheap stocks: They give you more for your money, but they're just as much a mixed bag of strong and poor companies as pricey picks. The price-to-earnings ratio has long been used to judge the general price of a stock, but is this polarizing statistic a good way to value big pharma's ostensibly cheapest stocks?

Using data compiled by stock screening site Finviz, here are the three cheapest major pharmaceutical stocks sorted by P/E. Motley Fool contributor Dan Carroll tells you what you need to know about these picks -- and whether their businesses and outlooks really are worth your money.

Fool contributor Dan Carroll has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.