Par slashes 100 sales jobs at Strativa unit

Par Pharmaceutical Companies is putting its Strativa unit through a major overhaul. The company said it cut 100 jobs from Strativa's sales operations in a restructuring designed to refocus efforts on two branded drugs. Overall, Par has some 680 employees, so the cuts amount to about one-seventh of its workforce.

Strativa is Par's branded-drugs unit, while its Par Pharmaceutical unit focuses on generic drugs. The Strativa cuts will help the unit "achieve profitability in the near term," the company said in a statement. "To achieve our goal of optimizing Strativa's potential, we found it necessary to reduce the number of sales representatives and focus on Megace ES and Nascobal," Par CEO Patrick LePore said. Megace ES is a drug for appetite loss, while Nascobal is a vitamin B12 nasal spray.

The cuts come after some changes at the top. Strativa CEO John MacPhee resigned in mid-December and left the company at the end of January. LePore stepped in to run Strativa day to day. And they have followed the generic division's agreement to buy the Indian generics maker Edict Pharmaceuticals. But LePore maintains Par isn't looking to get out of branded drugs. "We remain fully committed to the branded business and believe it is a valuable platform for future growth," he said.

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