Bristol-Myers to slash 480 sales-related jobs in NJ

Bristol-Myers Squibb ($BMY) is following up its lackluster third-quarter results with almost 480 layoffs. As Pharmalot reports, the company notified the New Jersey government that it would scale back in Plainsboro, which means the cuts will hit its sales operations.

The exact number of jobs to be cut, according to the state notification, is 479, Pharmalot reports. The Plainsboro facility mostly revolves around training and administrative support for the sales force.

Bristol-Myers is, of course, not alone in announcing layoffs and cutbacks recently. The most high-profile job-cutting plans are Sanofi's ($SNY) in France, where officials have not only publicly denounced the cuts but persuaded the company to rewind at least some of them. Other Big Pharmas with hundreds of cuts in the news recently include Abbott Laboratories ($ABT) (550 across several business units), Pfizer ($PFE) (300, mostly in sales) and Johnson & Johnson ($JNJ) (130 in Alzheimer's R&D).

But the news about Bristol-Myers is quite a turnabout from last year, when the company was widely considered to be ahead of its peers in getting new drugs to market. It was fresh off its early success with the melanoma drug Yervoy, and anticipating FDA approval of its clot-fighter Eliquis, a potential blockbuster developed with Pfizer.

Now, it's still waiting on Eliquis, and its stock is reeling from a $2.5 billion hepatitis C buyout gone bad. Its biggest seller, Plavix, is off patent--and sales have dropped so precipitously that they pulled the entire company's revenues down by 30% for the third quarter. And its CEO, Lamberto Andreotti, has gone from hero to nominee for worst chief executive of the year.

- see the story from Pharmalot

Special Report: Top 10 Pharma Layoffs of 2012