The world renowned pharmaceutical giant, Pfizer will be cutting 800 research jobs in anticipation of the expiry of its patent for its best selling drug, Lipitor.
The 800 is made up of scientists and other research personnel currently deployed across a number of countries throughout the world.
A few academic experts in the field of pharmaceutical has been lamenting on the lack of breakthroughs and discoveries by Pfizer’s research team in the recent years despite the company spending billions to recruit scientists and acquire new laboratory equipment.
In a way, the layoff has been seen inevitable.
The company is also reported planning to eliminate about a third of its 8,000 sales personnel. A US-based newspaper reported the figure would be somewhere around 2,400 people. Most likely workers assigned on non-performing drugs will be affected.
Lipitor, which contributes as much as 25% of Pfizer’s annual sales, is used to control and regulate cholesterol in patient’s blood. The drug is heading towards its patent expiration in 2011, 2 years from now. A patent or intellectual property right, once expired, can no longer become a proprietary of the company and can now be produced or imitated by other parties.
Pfizer is presently the world’s largest pharmaceutical company by sales, having its global headquarter in New York, and its primary research center in Connecticut, US.