Tuesday, June 19, 2012
A Decade In Drug Industry Layoffs
Since 2000, the pharmaceutical industry has cut 297,650 jobs, according to consulting firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas. For reference, that is about as many people as currently work at the three largest drug makers — Pfizer, Merck, and GlaxoSmithKline — combined.
Of course, not all those people remained unemployed, and the total headcount of the pharmaceutical industry did not drop that much. Many of those who were laid off were probably hired back by other drug makers. Some folks have probably been laid off more than once. It’s also worth noting that big mergers are one reason for the cuts. These are synergies.
Still, that number — 300,000 people, give or take — is worth remembering whenever anyone talks about how profitable pharmaceutical companies are and how they are fleecing society.Look, also, at how the number of job cuts per year has been going up enormously.
It’s true that many medicines are way too expensive. But it’s also true that medical innovation has gotten incredibly difficult and that it is not clear that even truly beneficial medicines can find their market. If we don’t figure out how to solve that paradox, it really could mean no new medicines for anybody — and even more lay offs. The full data set is below.
|A Decade In Drug Industry Layoffs|
|Year||Number of jobs cut|
|2011 (First three months)||3,385|
|Source: Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc. ©|
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