Pfizer reps chafe at expected layoffs

As Pfizer girds for the loss patent protection on mega-blockbuster Lipitor, company sales reps are expected to get layoff notices this week, Pharmalot's Ed Silverman reports. And Silverman writes of discontent in the drug giant's sales group over the cuts, as some folks were presumably led to believe their jobs were safe.

Yet Pfizer, which is chopping billions from its budget, is shrinking its sales organization further. The company didn't say how many reps would be cut, according to Silverman's piece, which also noted that Pfizer previously disclosed "the development" in an SEC filing. He writes that this latest round of cuts would nix 5% of the Big Pharma outfit's budget for selling, information and administration costs, which totaled $19.6 billion in 2010.

Few people will be shocked by this development. Pfizer has been pressing to focus its resources on developing and promoting new drugs with big sales potential. And, of course, once its prized statin loses patent protections and encounters competition from generic drugs, Pfizer will likely spend no more than it needs to in order to market the product.

- read the full report from Pharmalot