Am I Next? French Drug Manufacturer Sanofi to layoff 400 people.

Sanofi, based in France and one of the world largest multinational pharmaceutical companies in the world, has announced a new round of layoffs in its continuing restructuring program to meet competitive pressures.

Published reports indicate that the new round of workforce adjustments will result in at least 400 layoffs in their United States sales force, mostly involved with Sanofi’s diabetes and cardiovascular products.

It is no secret that drug-makers are being subject to expiring protections on lucrative proprietary drugs, bio-similar compounds, and competitive purchasing pressures from distributors who are kicking back incentives to large institutions. In addition, most drug manufacturers are reducing their direct-to-physician contracts in favor of advertising using both mainstream media and internet channels aimed at a targeted audience.

Of course, the company was quick to employ corporate-speak, using spokesperson  Ashleigh Koss to explain that the reduction in force will "enable us to continue to adapt to the ever-changing market, and allow us to focus on our recent launches while setting us up for success in the future.” She could have easily added, “move along, nothing new to see here folks.”

Are you asking yourself, Am I Next?


 Am I Next? Merck & Company layoffs

It appears that Merck & Company will be following other pharmaceutical companies such as Eli Lilly (3,500 layoffs) and Teva (7,000layoffs)  in reorganizing and realigning their core functionality and personnel. Merck will reduce their labor force by approximately 1,800 workers, primarily in sales and who serve as drug detail representatives to primary-care doctors, endocrinologists and hospitals. 

Gone are the days of exclusive-to-physician marketing and the past practice of attempting to influence individual prescribers with samples and brand reminders such as golf-balls and other tchotchkes. Or allowing the high-prescribers to fulfill their CEU (Continuing Education Credits) at high-end resorts. Not to mention paying “honoraria” for sponsored speaking events. Now, with the advent of the internet and interactive media, we can see more targeted marketing of so-called associative ads. Drugs are marketed directly to consumers with the benefit of the constant repetition of the horrendous potential side-effects dulling the perception of prescription dangers. It is not uncommon for patients to research their conditions and symptoms on the internet and request (or demand) certain therapies or branded drugs from their attending physicians.