Pfizer cuts sales employees in wake of election results

The New York Times reports that Pfizer will be laying off 2,400 sales representatives and managers, roughly 20 percent of Pfizer’s U.S. drug rep work force. These cutbacks are due to the recent election results, coupled with Pfizer’s inability to come up with innovative new drugs.

With Democratic leaders in Congress vowing to wring savings from the Medicare prescription drug program, drug makers are under pressure to bring their costs down…

… Despite a $7 billion annual research budget, Pfizer has had deep difficulties bringing new drugs to market.

Earlier yesterday, Pfizer announced it had ended a research collaboration with a European company to develop asenapine, a treatment for schizophrenia that analysts had predicted could be a multibillion-dollar drug.

Dont let the cutbacks fool you; Pfizer is still making money hand over fist, with profits in the billions. It is also thought that other drug companies will follow with their own layoffs, as Pharmagossip reports.

Dr. Peter Rost, former vice President of Pfizer and author of Whistleblower , said on his blog:

While this is a sad development for the people involved, it probably isn’t a bad development for patients. Less sales people means less hype. But let’s get real. 2,000 more or less sales people among around 100,000 in the entire sector isn’t going to make much of a difference.

The real difference may be that for the first time Pfizer is changing course, and since many of the smaller companies are simply trying to mimic what Pfizer is doing, they will feel they have the permission to do the same.

We’ll see what happens.

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