Glaxo regroups sales reps by specialty

Some new details out today about the big sales cuts at GlaxoSmithKline's U.S. operations. As the company shifts folks around--and sheds about 1,000 jobs, net--it's going to group its pharma folks by treatment class rather than by geography, as it has in the past. For instance, respiratory sales would encompass the asthma drug Advair and allergy med Veramyst. GSK spokeswoman Mary Anne Rhyne told the Wall Street Journal that these changes are designed to respond to doctors' requests. "[T]hey want to see fewer reps," Rhyne said, "but want to see people with specialized training and information."

Meanwhile, the loss of U.S. sales reps will mean gains in Asia, Forbes reports. Rhyne told the magazine that streamlining in the U.S. will help Glaxo look for new business opportunities in the U.S., yes, but also in China and India. Analysts see the changes a bit more starkly: "It is clear that Glaxo's future lies in the East as emerging markets represent a huge opportunity," a Charles Stanley analyst said. And CEO Andrew Witty (photo) knows something about that region. He worked as an economic adviser to the Governor of Guangzhou from 2000 to 2002.

- read the WSJ article
- check out the coverage in Forbes