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Source: Sanofi Lays Off Contract Sales Reps, Great Valley R&D Staff

Sanofi-Aventis (SNY) made phone calls to its contract drug sales reps to tell them whether they were keeping their jobs last week, a source tells BNET. It is not known how many contract reps got laid off. Sanofi also confirmed it would lay off an unspecified number of people from its Swiftwater, Pa., vaccine plant. And Dec. 10 was the last day for 60 scientists at Sanofi's Great Valley, Pa., site, a separate source added. BNET noted those job cuts were planned in July.

The company axed 750 staffers, mostly pharmaceutical sales reps, just after Thanksgiving. These latest layoffs -- of non-employee staff contracted from agencies as vendors -- are in addition to that swathe. A Sanofi spokesperson declined to confirm or deny the layoffs:

I don't have details on that but couldn't comment in any case given this involves a vendor company. What I can tell you is that the broader rationale provided last week related to overall reductions in our sales organization still stand.
That rationale is:
Sanofi-aventis U.S. is continuing to evolve in order to deliver greater value to our customers ... This includes changes to our sales force to better correspond with market dynamics and customer needs. As a part of our continuing transformation, we have identified areas where we will prioritize sales support and others where reductions are necessary.
The source tells BNET that a large number of contract reps will be without jobs on Jan. 1.

Separately: Sanofi's cost-cutting effort is now focusing on reps' company cars. Salespersons will soon be logging their travel data down to fractions of 1/10th of a mile on a new company web site, if these complaints on CafePharma are anything to go by.

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