The pharmaceutical sector is infested with a severe case of yeah-buts.

Yeah, Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) has beaucoup bucks to spend on research, but the guidance is feeble. Yeah, investors have overreacted to Merck's (NYSE:MRK) troubles, but the lawsuits could be serious. Yeah,Lilly (NYSE:LLY) has some good franchises, but, man, is that late-stage pipeline weak.

Then there's Wyeth (NYSE:WYE). Yeah, this company has come back strong from the diet drug debacle, but . well, the diet drug litigation isn't over yet, Effexor goes off-patent in a few years, and I'm not sure that the late-stage drugs likely to be filed in the next year or so will really stand out in their respective markets. That could spell challenging growth days ahead.

For now, though, Wyeth continues to do all right. Revenue was up 5% in the quarter, with 7% growth in pharmaceutical sales leading the way. Though Effexor was down slightly this quarter as generics bit into the branded depression drug market, it still contributed a big chunk of the company's revenue. Growth was a bit more promising for compounds such as Protonix, Rapamune, and Prevnar, and the marketing partnership on Enbrel -- Amgen (NASDAQ:AMGN) markets it domestically, while Wyeth sells it overseas -- continues to work well.

Although the final bill for diet drug litigation is still up in the air, I don't think Wyeth's management is just going to sit around and wait. Rather, I would expect the company to get a bit more active in looking to license in new compounds and drug candidates. Of course, I expect that many within the industry are having that same thought, so it will be interesting to see whether bidding wars erupt.

I do like this company, and I wish the growth outlook were better. At this point, though, I'm just not so sure that new compounds for the treatment of depression, schizophrenia, and osteoporosis are going to offset patent exclusivity losses enough to really keep growth moving. With that in mind, I'm in no hurry to pay a slight premium to the peer group to own these shares today.

For more patented Foolishness:

Pfizer is a Motley Fool Inside Value recommendation. Merck is a Motley Fool Income Investorpick.

The Motley Fool has kicked off its ninth annual Foolanthropy campaign! Nominate your favorite charities on our Foolanthropy discussion board through Nov. 1. For guidelines on what makes a charity Foolish, visit .

Fool contributor Stephen Simpson has no financial interest in any stocks mentioned (that means he's neither long nor short the shares).