In an Associated Press tally, seven out of the 12 companies surveyed reported reductions in work force by 10% or more since January 2007.
Respondents included Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca. Schering-Plough and Wyeth have both made recent announcements regarding job cuts in their sales departments.
According to Craig Scott, CEO of TargetRx, reducing sales forces may not be the best way to foster industry convalescence, but it should shift the focus away from basic “activity levels,” toward a more optimal sales performance: quality products presented to physicians in a quality way.
“Cost cutting through sales and marketing layoffs is convenient in the short term but won't solve the root problem for pharmaceutical companies. The work that we have done at TargetRx indicates that improving the quality of sales and marketing yields almost five times more of an increase in physician prescribing than increasing the volume of sales and marketing activity. This underscores a clear opportunity for any company that needs to reduce spending.”