Wyeth to cut sales force by up to 30 percent

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Wyeth plans to restructure its main sales force, possibly cutting as much as 30 percent of its full-time reps by the end of 2005, The Wall Street Journal reported this morning.
The new approach would apply to 2,500 Wyeth salespersons that call on primary-care physicians. About 750 reps could lose their jobs or be shifted to part-time work, according to the article. The shift will be rolled out in a pilot program in a third quarter pilot program and will be fully implemented by the end of the year.
Some highlights of the plan include assigning each representative more drugs to sell, curtailing sales calls on the 50 percent of doctors who write the fewest prescriptions and employing a flexible sales force of part-timers. Wyeth's president of North America and global business, Joseph Mahady, told the newspaper that part-time workers and increased use of alternative marketing tools, such as Internet-based seminars, would increase the company's flexibility.
Wyeth primary-care drugs include hormone replacement therapy Premarin, heartburn remedy Protonix and antidepressant Effexor XR, Wyeth's biggest selling product.
Wyeth said in the report that its sales forces calling on hospitals and specialists wouldn't be affected by the restructure.


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