More Cuts Across the Board

July 16, 2008

Pharmaceutical Executive

Volume 0, Issue 0

Pfizer, Schering, Abbott, and Boehringer announced that they will be shifting and slashing staff at both sales and manufacturing levels. While much smaller in scope than earlier cuts, the bloodletting doesn?t seem to be over.

In what has become a disturbing trend, pharma companies announced more than a thousand layoffs in the past two weeks.

For those keeping score:

  • Schering-Plough will axe 500 positions from its New Jersey headquarters.
  • Abbott is laying off 83 people in Parsippany, New Jersey
  • Pfizer announced that it would be eliminating 275 posts at its Michigan manufacturing plant, following through with its plan to close its Michigan research site.

The most recent changes came from Boehringer Ingelheim, which told Pharmalot on Monday that it would reassign 200 sales positions in its neurology division.

A BI spokesperson told the pharma blog, "We continually evaluate our staffing in response to the highly competitive marketplace and communicate directly to our employees as decisions are made."

Add these woes to the recent layoff announcements by Sanofi Aventis and the consolidation of Ortho Biotech and Centocor and the outlook starts looking bleak.

"I think the pharmaceutical industry is very much connected to the economy in general," said Julie Kampf, president of JBK Associates. "Drug use has gone down and companies are losing rights to drugs and their pipelines are getting tight?that coupled with the economy is a very telling sign."

Kampf noted that more opportunities should arise, as is the cyclical nature of the industry. "There is going to be a trend towards more start-ups, more mid-size companies and I think there will be other kinds of companies popping up with other indications for drugs and delivery systems, and our industry is depending on that."