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Tuesday, November 10, 2009


Brutal Job Cuts in Big Pharma

Pile a weak economy on top of the drug-industry’s long-term troubles (generic competition, thin pipelines, tough regulatory environment), and you get lots of job cuts. The latest: J&J said it’s cutting its work force by 6% or 7% — about 8,000 jobs. (To be clear, J&J’s cuts will be across all of its businesses, not just in pharma.)

Here a few of the other big cuts we’ve written about this year:

Pfizer is cutting nearly 20,000 jobs as part of its merger with Wyeth. That’s about 15% of the combined companies’ work force.

Eli Lilly plans to cut more than 5,000 jobs — a reduction of about 13%. Most of the cuts will come in the U.S. and Western Europe; the company plans to continue adding jobs in China and other emerging markets. (GlaxoSmithKline is making a similar shift, cutting sales reps in developed markets and hiring new reps in emerging markets.)

AstraZeneca said in January that it planned to cut more than 7,000 jobs, or about 10% of its work force. That was on top of a previously announced plan to cut thousands of jobs.

Merck plans to cut some 16,000 jobs after the Merck merger with Schering-Plough is done . The plans “aren’t finalized,” CEO Dick Clark said. “We want to make the right decisions with talent.” We do know this much: The former Schering headquarters in Kenilworth, N.J., will remain an “important site,” the company says, as will Merck’s Rahway, N.J., site. The company will keep its headquarters in Whitehouse Station, N.J. The cuts, which will reduce the combined company’s work force by 15% are part of a program that’s supposed to save $3.5 billion a year.

GlaxoSmithKline has slashed 6,000 jobs this year.

Sourses: WSJ Blogs.
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