There is some discrepancy in number of jobs cut. For example, one source argues that Pfizer has actually cut 19,500 (rather than 16,517 in the figure) since 2009, with many more rounds of job cuts since.
Merck is also reported to cut 8.500 more jobs in its $2.5 billion global overhaul, restructuring, and relocation plans, and in the face of loss of patent exclusivity on some of its key drugs. By the end of 2014, Merck's workforce is expected to be 20% smaller (16,200 more job cuts out of 81,000 currently held jobs).
Teva is also cutting approximately 5,000 jobs to save $2 billion in a company overhaul and restructuring (selling manufacturing plants, reducing acquisitions, and reducing the size of company components that are no longer considered to be essential) after it lost a patent fight for its top-selling drug, which made $2.2 billion in Q1 and Q2 of 2013.
Similarly, Boehringer Ingelheim is planning 1,100 job cuts in a phased-reduction strategy to end in 2014.
Reasons for these job cuts may include:
- declining productivity in research and development (R&D)
- declining innovation
- shift to specialty drugs that require less marketing by drug reps
- new emerging electronic marketing to physicians (here)
- loss of patent exclusivity for key blockbuster drugs
- mergers and acquisitions
- company restructuring
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