Pfizer (PFE) took the title for most layoffs this year, shedding 19,500 employees before and after its $68 billion merger with Wyeth. In second place was Merck (MRK), which laid off 16,000 employees after its $41 billion acquisition of Schering-Plough.
Who else topped the 2009 layoff list? FiercePharma offers a handy report:
- Third: Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), with 8,900. Most of these cuts, which spanned the organization, were blamed on the sluggish economy and the need to decrease expenses.
- Fourth: AstraZeneca (AZN), with 7,400. Another company that wasn't getting it done on the top-line and had to cut expenses to improve the bottom line.
- Fifth: GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), with 6,000. The cuts, which were deepest in the U.K., were linked to patent expiries, the collapse of diabetes drug Avandia, and legal costs.
- Sixth: Eli Lilly (LLY) with 5,500. The sales force bore the brunt of this burden as Lilly prepared for patent expirations of chemo drug Gemzar and CNS drugs Zyprexa and Cymbalta.
- Seventh: Teva with 1,090. In more consolidation-related cuts, Teva streamlined after acquiring Barr Pharmaceuticals.
- Eighth: Sepracor (SEPR) with 940. Now a subsidiary of Dainippon Sumitomo Pharma, Sepracor slashed its sales force.
- Ninth: Boehringer Ingelheim with 860. Once again, sales reps felt the pain.
- Tenth: King (KG) with 770. Some of these cuts trimmed Alpharma acquisition overlap, while others were related to a patent expiration on muscle drug Skelaxin.
- Dishonorable Mention: Sanofi-Aventis (SNY) with 750. Bracing for patent expirations of sleep drug Ambien and anti-clotting drug Plavix, Sanofi slammed its sales reps.