Johnson & Johnson, last week, announced that it will eliminate approximately 900 sales reps in its Ortho-McNeil-Janssen division. The good news is that through attrition and hiring freezes the company was able to reduce the number of job losses. J&J is not providing the actual number of employees being eliminated; however, the 900 positions that were impacted represent approximately 6 percent of the total US Johnson & Johnson pharmaceuticals workforce.
This announcement is part of J&J’s larger strategy to respond to the current political and economic environment, as well as the changes in the healthcare environment.
“There are a significant number of new players that have very specific requirements and very specific definitions of value,” said Kara Russell, spokeswoman for Ortho-McNeil-Janssen. “In the past, the prescribing physician was the primary focus. And while the prescribing physician remains incredibly important, they to have been more selective and more specific about where, how, and what information they want to receive regarding pharmaceutical products.”
The tactic is in line with the rest of the pharma industry, as companies are looking to scale back the bloated sales forces of the last decade and streamline the number of reps on the street. “It’s a new strategy to approach these new stakeholders with what they want and how they want it—making sure we understand [that],” Russell told Pharm Exec on Tuesday.
Johnson & Johnson has yet to announce its full restructuring strategy, and is still in the process of actively assessing what it will look like. “As part of our evaluation, we determined that the size of our US sales force could be decreased, so we took that action,” Russell said.
Ortho-McNeil-Janssen markets a number of products across the CNS and internal medicine space, including products such as Concerta, Risperdal, and Ultram ER.