Nine of 10 Big Pharmas cut sales reps in 2010

While worldwide spending on sales reps and other drug marketing grew slightly last year to roughly $91 billion, the sources of that growth lay in China, Japan and Latin America. In the U.S. and Europe, companies made major cuts.

The slight global growth in spending on sales reps depended on double-digit increases in sales-force spending in those three emerging markets. Many major drugmakers added significantly to their sales forces in those markets, according to the analysis by market research firm Cegedim Strategic Data. That's certainly what Big Pharma companies have been saying. Eli Lilly, Roche, Pfizer and others have staffed up on the sales side in China and other fast-growing markets.

Of course, those same companies have been cutting back in more established markets. "[T]here appears to be a broad trend in seeking scale efficiencies in the major western markets as 9 of the top 10 companies in the USA and Europe cut back on sales force levels," CSD's Christopher Wooden said.

Considering industry trends and consolidation, Wooden said, the trend of contraction in mature markets and growth in emerging markets is likely to continue. "Sales force and marketing in the mature western markets will likely be streamlined over the next few years. The future is clearly seen in Asia and Latin America."

- check out the story at PharmaTimes