Top 10 Layoffs of 2009

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 align=Welcome to our third annual list of the pharmaceutical industry's top layoffs. With three mega-mergers in 2009, this was a particularly brutal year for job cuts. Not surprisingly, Pfizer (which purchased Wyeth for $68 billion) and Merck (the new owner of Schering-Plough) came out on top of the list, as the drugmakers work to streamline operations and eliminate redundancies. Noticeably absent from this list are Roche and Genentech, which have yet to formally announce any cuts from their joining.

Figuring heavily in many of these companies cuts is the impending patent cliff, which will see some of the industry's most profitable drugs go off patent in the next few years. That's contributed heavily to a reduction in sales reps jobs, which have disappeared at an alarming rate this year.

The layoffs outlined here are, of course, just the tip of the iceberg. According to staffing firm Challenger, Gray and Christmas, 58,696 pharmaceutical and biotech jobs have been cut through the end of October of this year. That's 15,000 more jobs lost than in all of 2008. You can check out this list of smaller developers that cut jobs this year, and here's a look at larger pharma companies that reduced their headcount but didn't make the top 10. Click here to being the report on the top 10 layoffs of 2009.

1. Pfizer - 19,500

2. Merck - 16,000

3. Johnson & Johnson - 8,900    

4. AstraZeneca - 7,400

5. GlaxoSmithKline - 6,000

6. Eli Lilly - 5,500

7. Teva Industries - 1,090

8. Sepracor - 940

9. King Pharmaceuticals - 770

10. Sanofi-Aventis - 750