AbbVie to Fire Hundreds of Sales Reps

Posted in BioBusiness

AbbVie, the prescription drug spinoff of Abbott Laboratories revealed that it will be laying off several hundred cardiovascular sales reps. The fired workers will be a mix of full time sales personnel and contract workers.  The reason: generic encroachment of its cardiovascular drug franchises. Among those drugs is TriCor, which began facing generic competition in November. TriCor, along with related medication Trilipix, generated $1.1 billion in U.S. sales for AbbVie last year.. Niaspan, an extended-release version of a medicine to raise HDL also will face generic competition this year It sold $911 million for AbbVie in 2012

AbbVie is shifting its focus from primary care, such as drugs that treat a patient’s cholesterol, stroke or diabetes, to so-called specialty medications in areas of unmet health needs

AbbVie is jumping on the elimination of sales personnel bandwagon and joins Eli Lilly which late last week announced that it plans to dismiss hundreds of sales reps tomorrow, a spokesman confirms. The cuts may amount to 30 percent of the companywide sales force in its BioMedicines division, which includes the cardiovascular, neuroscience and Men’s health units Likewise, last Fall, NJ-based Bristol-Myers Squibb layed off 480 sales reps.

Based on the events of the past five years, it may not be a good idea to pursue a career as   a PhD-trained life scientist or a pharma sales rep!  Surprisingly, however, there is a growing need for biopharmaceutical/biotechnology sales reps….go figure!

Until next time…

Good Luck and Good Job Hunting!!!!!!!!!!

US Pharma Layoffs Continue as Companies Increase the Size of Asian Operations

Posted in BioJobBuzz

Pfizer today announced that it’s looking to increase its sales force in China to 3,200 by the end of next year, up from about 2,300. The company expects to have sales representatives in about 250 Chinese cities by the end of 2011. It presently has a sales presence in about 185 cities. Previously, Pfizer it will cut nearly 20,000 jobs as part of the Wyeth merger. Over the pass several years more than 50,000 US pharma sales reps have lost their jobs.

Eli Lilly said last fall that it would continue to hire in China, even as it cuts jobs in the U.S. and other developed markets. Novartis is also making a big push into China, hiring hundreds of workers and spending $1 billion to expand a research center in Shanghai.

With business tough in developed markets, drug makers are counting on the developing world for growth and are expanding into biotechnology and generic drug manufacturing.

Like it or not, the emerging markets in China, India, Brazil and elsewhere represent a substantial upside whereas markets in the developing world are becoming less profitable. Drug companies, like most other large multinational companies, always will follow the profit stream not matter where it takes them or at what cost to the folks at home.

Until next time…

 Good Luck and Good Job Hunting (Try China, I hear they are looking for sales reps)

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From the Are You Kidding Me Files: Pharm Giant Sales Force Goes Green With High Fashion Handbags

Posted in BioBusiness

As a blogger I get on average 2-3 press releases per day from publicists who want me to pick up their releases and publish them on BioJobBlog. I usually pass. But, the one that I received from a publicist who represents eco-friendly and politically-correct Red Handed Bags was too good not to share with my readers (see below)

Pharm giant sales force goes green with high fashion handbags

Raleigh NC-based fashion designers Aaron Turney and Tracy Russomano are used to working with fashion conscious women.  But this year, they devoted their special talents efforts to addressing the special needs of a unique group of highly specialized handbag users – pharmaceutical sales reps.

GlaxoSmithKline asked them to design an environmentally friendly work bag specifically for their pharmaceutical sales reps to use on the job.

Redhanded Bags has created a line of beautiful handbags using green technologies, animal free materials, and sweat free manufacturing facilities and workforces. 

“It’s pretty admirable that they’ve set themselves a goal for using handbags that don’t hurt animals, don’t pollute the environment and don’t exploit anyone,” said Tracy Russomano. “We worked directly with the sales people to design the ideal pharm sales rep bag. When we were done, GSKs onsite ergonomist gives the bags an excellent rating for ergonomic design.”  

“Handbags should turn heads, bring out inner beauty, and contribute to a sustainable environment,” said Ms. Russomano. “Pharmaceutical sales reps can look great  and be eco-friendly.”  I am partial to the middle bag; which one is your fav?

I find it admirable that GSK is thinking environmentally. However, are several thousand eco-friendly handbags for sales reps really going to make a difference? I think it would behoove GSK and other drug makers to invest in developing green manufacturing technologies and facilities if they are truly concerned about reducing the size of their carbon foot prints. 

After visiting the Red Handed bags website, I agree with Ms Russomano, that pharma reps (who still have jobs)  will look great and turn some head while sporting the new bags (exactly what GSK wants). That said, it is extremely gratifying to know that the environment is safe, no animals were killed and no workers were exploited to help sales reps sell drugs to their customers!

Until next time…

Good Luck and Good Shopping (check out the handcuff clutch)


The Weekly Pharma Layoff Report

Posted in BioJobBuzz

Talk about a rough week. First, on Monday, Pfizer announced that it was acquiring Wyeth, a move that is expected to result in the loss of 8,000 to 10,000 jobs if the deal is approved. This was followed on Wednesday by an announcement from Abbott Laboratories indicating hat it was laying off about 200 sales representatives because of regulatory delays for its12 hour-formulation of its pain drug Vicodin. Finally, on Thursday, AstraZeneca announced that it will cut another 7,400 jobs worldwide by 2013 (bringing the total number of expected layoffs to 15,000). Also on Thursday, Sepracor, the maker of the sleeping pill Lunesta, announced that it will cut 20% of its permanent work force (530 jobs) and 410 contract sales representatives (even though the company announced a profit).

Suffice it to say it has been a tough week for pharmaceutical company employees. I hope that next week is better.

Until next time…

Good Luck and errrrrr Good Job Hunting????????


Wyeth Announces That 1,200 More Jobs Will be Eliminated

Posted in BioJobBuzz

I want to thank my esteemed colleague, Ed Silverman at Pharmalot, for the heads up on this post.  As part of Wyeth’s asset realignment program dubbed “Project Impact”, the company announced today that it would cut another 1,200 jobs at “all facilities in all capacities.”  Meanwhile, late last Friday 141 people at Wyeth’s Pearl River, NY, facility were laid off. Most of the jobs that were cut were in manufacturing and R&D. Of interest, last Friday was also Bob Essner’s last day as Wyeth’s CEO (he will continue as Chairman through December 31, 2008). For those of you who may be interested, Bob’s total compensation package in 2007 was about $20 million (his base salary was a paltry $1.73 million).

The most recent layoffs were made as part of the drug maker’s previously announced plan to cut up to 10 percent of its global workforce of 50,000 by 2011. Wyeth executives contend that Project Impact is warranted because of increased generic drug competition and a weak product pipeline. As you may recall, Wyeth previously laid off 1,240 sales reps late last month due to sagging sales of several of its consumer and pharmaceutical brands.

These new layoffs couldn’t come at a worst time for Wyeth employees. For those of you who still have jobs at the company, I highly recommend that you begin to explore alternative career opportunities. It is going to be a long and difficult ride!

Until next time… 

Good Luck and Good Job Hunting (if there are any left) !!!!!!!