Take an Out-of-Work Drug Rep to Lunch: More Big Pharma Layoffs
And the parade of layoffs continues. The latest drugmaker to shed some workers is Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY), which plans to eliminate 479 sales reps and related jobs now that Otsuka Pharmaceuticals will assume responsbility for marketing the Abilify antipsycotic in the US, a spokeswoman tells us. The job cuts were disclosed in a state notice.
The move comes amid a difficult stretch for the drugmaker. The FDA has repeatedly postponed a final decision on whether to approve its Eliquis bloodthinner, which is part of a joint effort with Pfizer (PFE) (read Pharma news). A decision is now expected in March. And two months ago, Bristol-Myers also dropped an experimental hepatitis C treatment after a patient death and hospitalizations. Earlier this year, the drugmaker agreed to pay $2.5 billion in cash for Inhibitex and the compound (more Pharma news).
Once growth companies, the Big Pharma stocks have been hit due to difficulties generating revenue growth. Existing blockbuster drugs are losing patent protection, and the companies haven’t developed enough new drugs.
In recent weeks, Pfizer cut 300 jobs in Quebec; Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) eliminated 130 spots after an Alzheimer’s treatment failed; Teva Pharmaceuticals (TEVA) cut 65 jobs at its California plant; Abbott Laboratories (ABT) axed 550 jobs as its prepares for its AbbVie spinoff; Merck (MRK) cuts 150 jobs as part of an ongoing restructuring, and AstraZeneca (AZN) eliminated 260 positions from its MedImmune unit that are also part of a previously announced reorganization.
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Ed Silverman is the editor of Pharmalot and a contributor to YCharts, which includes the just-released YCharts Pro Platinum for professional investors.