With Big Pharma mergers in the works, whose SG&A costs look ripe for cutting?

When Big Pharma starts talking about big buyouts, the sales and marketing departments start chattering about their jobs. Last week's Novartis-plus-GlaxoSmithKline cancer deal is one prime example. Another, bigger one: Pfizer's proposed $100-billion-or-so buyout of AstraZeneca.

Worries about job losses have U.K. officials looking for reassurance from Pfizer ($PFE), but Pfizer isn't biting--at least, not until AstraZeneca ($AZN) agrees to sit down and talk. But government ministers are focused on R&D and scientists, not sales and marketing folks. And as anyone in pharma sales knows, SG&A expenses are often the top brass' first target when integrating two companies.

Novartis ($NVS) wouldn't share any details with us about its cancer marketing plans, citing their proprietary nature. But since that deal was announced last Tuesday, Glaxo ($GSK) won approval for one of its new cancer drugs, and Novartis nabbed an OK for its targeted lung cancer product Zykadia. Read more from FiercePharmaMarketing >>