Sanofi-Aventis has room for sales force reductions: Spek

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Sanofi-Aventis has the flexibility to further reduce its sales force, the drugmaker's head of pharmaceuticals Hanspeter Spek said during a post-results conference call on Wednesday.

“I don't believe our overall sales force will increase – there will be inside restructuring,” Spek told Reuters.

Spek said around 10% of the US sales force typically leaves each year and another 10% are external hires.

Sanofi has already cut its US sales force by 11% since 2005.

Meanwhile, Sanofi reported that second quarter sales of its sleeping pill Ambien fell 42%. The Paris-based drugmaker was counting on weight-loss drug Acomplia to boost company growth but had to withdraw the drug last month after an FDA expert panel linked it to suicide and depression.

“They're not in good shape,” Eric le Berrigaud, an analyst at Raymond James in Paris, told Reuters. “Their portfolio is pretty old now, they really need new products.”

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