It's tough to be a pharma rep these days, especially if you work for one of the companies that's in the midst of laying off your colleagues (or, potentially, you). And unfortunately that list seems to be growing by the day: Roche last month, Novartis ($NVS) this week, and if Pharmalot's sources are correct, at least one more drugmaker to come by year's end.
But as BNet Pharma reports, Sanofi-Aventis ($SNY) reps win the prize for pain this week. Previously announced cuts of 1,700 positions went through yesterday, and, perhaps as part of its overall push for efficiency, the company didn't take the time to notify laid-off salespeople individually. Instead, Sanofi managers took the cattle-call approach: Each sales rep was scheduled for one of two group teleconferences, with one of those calls devoted to those who got to keep their jobs and the other to those shown the door.
Some consolation for those suffering Sanofi-ites, however. Some 250 contract sales reps would share the layoff pain. And management officially says that the latest sales layoffs will put the marketing force at the right size through 2013. So, no nail-biting over potential job loss for at least three years.