ImClone to trim sales forces from 70 reps to 40

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ImClone, recently acquired by Lilly for $6.5 billion, will cut 30 of its 70 in-house sales reps. The decision to cut reps, reported by Pharmalot.com, will require Bristol-Myers Squibb – a co-marketer for ImClone's Erbitux cancer medication – and Lilly, to “streamline efforts and create synergies across…field sales organizations for the benefit of the prescribers and patients [ImClone] serves,” a spokesperson told Pharmalot.

“About 30 of the nearly 70 roles that made up the ImClone sales force were eliminated. This takes the overall size of the sales force back to a mid-2007 sales model that proved very effective for ImClone in maximizing the sales of Erbitux.,” the spokesperson told Pharmalot. “[ImClone is] also confident the Bristol-Myers Squibb field sales force focused on supporting Erbitux will continue to contribute to the success of this valuable targeted agent for patients.”

Initial ImClone acquisition talks resulted in a histrionic back and forth between Bristol-Myers Squibb's CEO, Jim Cornelius, and ImClone's chairman Carl Icahn, with Lilly eventually stepping in to offer the highest bid. Lilly's ImClone will join the list of other manufactures trimming sales forces in order to control costs.

A spokesperson at ImClone confirmed statements made to Pharmalot, but would not provide further comment.

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