It’s the Holiday Season: Time for More Job Cuts in Pharma

Posted in BioBusiness, BioJobBuzz

While the holiday season (beginning on Thanksgiving) is supposed to be joyous, it is usually the time of year that many life sciences and other large corporations announce job cuts. As expected, two companies, Mylan and Lilly announced today that they will be cutting the size of their work forces and laying off employee.

Mylan, whose CEO was forced to appear before Congressional committees because of the company’s egregiously high price it was charging for EpiPens, announced that it may lay off of as many as 3,500 workers. The reason for the layoffs was to “reduce redundancy” that resulted from Mylan’s $5.3 billion acquisition of Abbott Laboratories generic drug business, the $7 billion it paid to purchase the Swedish drugmaker Meda and the $1.0 billion for several topical skin medications from Renaissance Holdings. The layoffs will purportedly impact less than 10% of Mylan’s global workforce and help to cut costs and refocus operations at the generic drug manufacturer.

Likewise, troubled pharmaceutical manufacturer Lilly, whose CEO abruptly retired earlier this year announced that it was trimming its US pharmaceutical sales force. The announced cuts were related to the recent Phase 3 failure of the company’s Alzheimer’s project solanezumab. A company spokesperson did not disclose the number of sales representative who would lose their jobs.

Finally, this past September, the Danish company  Novo Nordisk, a world leader in the diabetes market, announced it would layoff 1,000 employees worldwide to cut costs and focus it efforts on developing “truly innovative” diabetes products.  Meanwhile, behind the scenes, speculation suggests that the layoffs are in response to payer pressures that are being brought to bear in the US, the company’s largest market.  Many of the cuts are expected in R&D where innovation has been lacking according to company executives.

Although these jobs cuts are taking place, the good news is that these workforce reductions are smaller than those announced in holiday seasons past!

Until next time

Good Luck and Good Job Hunting


Around the World: Corporate Downsizing Update

Posted in BioJobBuzz

It’s summertime during a recession. What better time is there to give employees an extended vacation by announcing job cuts at the start of summer?  

Generic manufacturer Mylan announced that it is cutting jobs at a pharmaceutical manufacturing plant in central Puerto Rico. According to a company spokesperson, 100 jobs will be eliminated in coming weeks. Mylan had announced in February that it would be eliminating jobs at five locations as part of a companywide restructuring. The Pittsburg, PA-based company is the latest pharmaceutical company to announce cuts in Puerto Rico. The industry has eliminated more than 3,000 jobs here since mid-2006.

In other news, Palo Alto, CA-based Jazz Pharmaceuticals Inc. said Wednesday it plans to cut 8 percent of its work force — or 33 employees — primarily in research and development and administrative areas, and delay development of two drugs.

Finally, according to Ed Silverman over at Pharmalot, New Jersey-based Schering Plough has begun the massive layoffs it announced last April. As you may recall, CEO Fred Hassan still reeling from the Vytorin and Zetia flap, assured analysts and shareholders that he can right the ship by laying off about 5,500 employees or 10% of Schering’s workforce. He vowed to “consolidate management; use more shared staff support and services; reduce travel; cut sales and marketing; slash R&D; consolidate product lines, particularly in the animal health unit; and close some of the 60 manufacturing plants.” The previously announced job cuts are in addition to the 400 jobs that were eliminated after Schering Plough acquired Organon Biosciences.

Unfortunately, I guess it is going to be a long, hot, summer for the folks who lost their jobs.

Until next time….

Good Luck and Try to Hold On To Your Job (if you have one)