The drug-rep bloodbath continues. This time, it's Boehringer Ingelheim laying off a hunk of its U.S. sales force, with between 600 and 900 reps getting pink slips. The news for reps came via phone call on Tuesday, PharmaGossip reports; management apparently called salespeople in alphabetical order to tell them whether they still had a job. The company started notifying sales managers yesterday.
According to an announcement posted on CafePharma, Boehringer intends to cut 30 percent of its sales forces devoted to primary care, cardiovascular and neurology. Jim Edwards at BNet Pharma did the math and came up with 942 positions to face the ax. Reps and sales managers alike are getting the boot.
The reasons are familiar to anyone who's been following pharma: drugs going off patent without new replacements. In Boehringer's case, the prostate drug Flomax gets generic competition next year.