Sanofi reps await layoff news today

Sanofi-Aventis sales reps are sitting by the telephone this morning, waiting to find out whether they still have jobs. BNet Pharma quotes sources saying that laid-off reps will get the news today, apparently as part of a "realignment of sales and marketing resources" CEO Chris Viehbacher mentioned in his Q3 earnings presentation.

There's no word yet on how many reps are destined for the unemployment lines. But we do know that this round of layoffs follows a 10 percent cut in the Sanofi sales force last year. The company currently has some 5,600 or so reps.

Of course it's not much of a comfort to the Sanofi-ites who'll get bad news today, but they have plenty of company out there in the job market. Pharma has been on something of a sales rep layoff spree over the last couple of years. With mega-blockbusters going off patent, their equally mega sales forces have been slashed. Plus, drugmakers are trying new sales approaches, such as online detailing that doctors can check out anytime day or night.

BNet's source says Sanofi reps will get three weeks' severance pay for each year of service, with a bonus for over-50 reps. Stay tuned; as the layoffs happen, we're sure to hear more.

- read the BNet post