Broken promises & fresh starts

SRxA’s Word on Health can’t help but wonder how Abbott employees are feeling today after learning that 3,000 jobs are to be cut.  According to Bloomberg, the corporate axe will fall as part of the company’s restructuring plan following its acquisition of Solvay’s pharmaceuticals business.

How ironic and painful it must be each time they see their corporate mission statement:  “A Promise For Life.”

So who will stay and who will go?  According to the company, most of the positions to be eliminated will be in sales, corporate staff, manufacturing and research.  While we’re not quite sure who that leaves, we do know that there will soon be a lot more pharma people out there looking for jobs.

Though few Abbott workers will take comfort from the fact that the restructuring will result in savings of $810 to $970 million over the next two years, they are certainly not alone.

2010 has been a busy year for the pharma chopping block.  A Google search on “pharmaceutical sales job cuts + 2010” elicited 331,000 results.

In the last quarter alone, Astra Zeneca, Merck, GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer, Roche, Takeda, and UCB have all announced significant reductions of their sales force.

It’s all a far, far cry from the pharmaceutical industry zenith of 2004 when roughly 105,000 sales reps were employed in the US.

These latest job cuts appear to support the notion that the pharmaceutical industry is moving away from transactional selling to more value-oriented or solution-oriented selling.  Without its traditional army of sales reps the pharmaceutical industry will need to come up with new and better ways of engaging the physicians.

SRxA is here to help.  Contact us today to learn how we can help you to create and deliver successful programs in these changing times.

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4 thoughts on “Broken promises & fresh starts

  1. Just one day later, further bad news for Pharma. According to breaking news in The Wall Street Journal, Bristol-Myers Squibb announced that it plans to eliminate about 3 percent of its workforce, or 840 jobs, over the next six months as part of a “streamlining initiative.”

  2. …and another 650 Pharma job losses announced today

    Biotechnology firm Biogen Idec announced it will lay off 13% of its workforce, or 650 employees, as part of a restructuring and cost-cutting programme.

    The move will see Biogen exit 11 of its existing programmes and close US facilities in Waltham, Wellesley and San Diego. The company, which will have 4,275 employees after the cuts, plans to focus on neurology and leverage its strengths in select biotechnology-based therapies, cutting back on efforts in cardiovascular medicine and cancer treatment.

    It is expected that the restructuring will result in post-annual savings of approximately $300m, which will lead to charges of about $11m, including about $70m in the fourth quarter.

    The restructuring plan comes just weeks after the company reported a 8.5 per cent drop in third-quarter profit because of higher costs and expenses. Sales of Tysabri rose 9 per cent to $307m, however, revenue from Rituxan fell 9 per cent to $258m.

    Biogen will also eliminate its current sales force for Rituxan, with Roche’s Genentech assuming responsibility for the drug’s US sales and marketing.

  3. November 17, 2010
    Roche to cut 4800 jobs

    Roche announced plans to cut 6% of its global workforce, or 4800 jobs, over the next two years as part of efforts to make annual cost savings of $2.4 billion. The Swiss drugmaker indicated that the largest reductions would come in sales and marketing, as well as in manufacturing.

  4. November 15, 2010
    Pfizer announced that it is to exceed layoff targets following Wyeth acquisition.
    The company reported in a regulatory filing that it “expects to exceed the original 15% workforce reduction target” previously announced as part of the cost-saving measures implemented following its acquisition of Wyeth. Company spokeswoman Joan Campion noted that “at this point, it’s too early to determine the extent to which we will exceed this target.”

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