Big Pharma: Not recession-proof

It is true that humans will need healthcare regardless of how short on cash they are, but David Brennan (photo), CEO of AstraZeneca, says that if you believed healthcare was recession proof, you are wrong. 

While speaking at a Financial Times conference in London, he said the recession will be "deep and long," indeed affecting healthcare, including the pharmaceutical industry. That's likely no surprise to FiercePharma readers, who have witnessed a variety of layoffs, cutbacks and other restructuring efforts aimed at cost-cutting within the industry.

As a recap, in 2008, Merck cut 8,400 jobs, but we saw major cuts at Abbot, AstraZeneca, Schering-Plough, UCB Pharma, Wyeth and at many smaller drug companies as well. The industry is likely to see more layoffs as we enter 2009.

- more in the Wall Street Journal blog