Schering-Plough to Eliminate 1,000 U.S. Sales Force Jobs

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Kenilworth, NJ-based Schering-Plough will eliminate approximately 1,000 sales positions nationwide as part of a reorganization structure of its U.S. Primary Care sales team, according to a company statement.

The move is designed to capture greater efficiencies and better position the field force to meet the needs of customers. These changes are being made as part of the company's Productivity Transformation Program (PTP), announced in April 2008, and include the adoption of a new selling model and the elimination of approximately 1,000 sales positions nationwide.

Personnel whose jobs are being eliminated will be offered severance benefits consisting of a cash payment based on job band and length of service, outplacement services, plus continuation of medical, dental and life insurance coverage at active employee rates for a certain period of time.

Schering-Plough is taking these and other PTP actions following a critical   examination of all the work being done by its colleagues and finding ways to become leaner, more effective and better able to meet customers' needs. The company stated that it highly values the work of its sales professionals, and so the decision to eliminate positions was difficult and is being implemented with great care and empathy. When the goals of PTP are realized, the company said it is confident that Schering-Plough will be better positioned to be a stronger and more competitive company for the long term.

The new selling model and organizational structure will become effective Oct. 1, 2008 and will only impact the U.S. Primary Care sales force and not sales organizations outside the U.S.

The new selling model for the U.S. Primary Care sales team will take a customer-centered approach in order to drive improved productivity and sales force performance. Some key benefits include:

•Better positioning of representatives to meet individual physician needs;
•Maximizing local, territory-specific business opportunities;
•Preserving important customer relationships.

According to Schering officials, PTP is designed to reduce and avoid costs and increase productivity.  PTP takes into account the ongoing integration of Organon BioSciences (OBS), acquired in November 2007. Schering-Plough initiated PTP in order to capture savings of $1.5 billion, representing about 10 percent of its full-year 2007 cost base (including OBS), by the end of 2012.  When the current actions involving the U.S. Primary Care sales force are completed, Schering-Plough's field force will number approximately 4,000 in the U.S.

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