Pharma Layoffs Keep Coming, But Trail Last Year

Pharma Layoffs Keep Coming, But Trail Last Year

September 1st, 2011 // 1:14 pm @

Yes, Merck is throwing thousands of employees overboard. Pfizer is ridding itself of sales reps in advance of the Lipitor patent expiration later this year, among numerous other cutbacks. And numerous other drugmakers have shed workers here and there. Nonetheless, the number of people laid off by pharma so far this year greatly trails the total at the same time a year ago.

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The latest tally from Challenger, Gray & Christmas, the outplacement consultants that track monthly changes in each industry, finds that layoffs through August amounted to 18,386, which is a 50 percent drop from last year. Just 122 jobs were eliminated last month, while drugmakers disclosed plans to add another 433 positions (read the statement).

As a result, pharma has not spent the year near the top of the list of industries that are eliminating jobs, although more than 18,000 lost jobs is not small change, either. We should note, though, that this is not necessarily an all-inclusive picture. For one thing, selective hiring does continue for various positions at numerous companies. And not all job cuts are disclosed, since some companies eliminate staff in dribs and drabs and, therefore, are not required to file notices with their state governments.

Moreover, the firm apparently includes the recent disclosure by Merck to cut another 12,000 to 13,000 jobs, although some of these will be lost in other countries. And so the implication is that job losses in the US may actually be fewer than the survey implies. As a result, the net effect may, unfortunately, be skewed. But with more patents expiring on big-selling drugs, well, you know…

Source: Pharmalot

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