OCTOBER 17, 2019 UPDATE — MASS LAYOFF IN HUMAN HEALTH DIVISION’S SALES DEPARTMENT
The company has announced that it will be laying off 500 employees, mostly field sales representatives and administrative people in the Human Health Division based in Lansdale and North Wales, Pennsylvania in what the company characterizes as a permanent “reduction in force” commencing on January 3, 2020. This includes employees outside of the Pennsylvania field headquarters.
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.
Change is coming. There will always be a tomorrow, no matter how much you may try to ignore it. There are no guarantees in life or promises for a bright future. Just because something bad hasn't happened yet, doesn't mean it won't. It can happen to anyone, anytime, anywhere. No one is guaranteed to wake up tomorrow and still have a job by evening. Are you now wondering, Am I Next?