Sunovion Pharmaceuticals Inc. to Lay Off Hundreds of Drug Reps in Consolidation Move  
12/22/2011 7:14:44 AM

Boston Business Journal by Julie M. Donnelly, Reporter

Sunovion Pharmaceuticals, which is owned by Japanese drug maker Dainippon Sumitomo Pharma, has confirmed it will lay off an undisclosed number of sales representatives that are responsible for selling the company’s asthma drugs. The number of the layoffs was earlier reported to be near 300.

“Sunovion recently made the difficult decision to consolidate certain of its national Respiratory Sales Teams which resulted in a reduction in the number of field sales representatives detailing our respiratory brands,” spokeswoman Susan Alesina wrote in a statement. “This action was the result of Sunovion’s ongoing evaluation of how the company allocates its resources and implements promotional strategies across the entire portfolio of its marketed products. Sunovion believes this action will help to maximize the efficiency and effectiveness of our field sales efforts in serving asthma and allergy customer needs. I can not provide you with any additional details at this point in time.”

The website FierceBiotech, which first reported the cuts Wednesday, put the number of workers laid off at 288, citing an unnamed source.

The Marlborough, Mass-based company would not say how many workers are being let go, or where they are located. A spokesman for the Massachusetts Executive Office of Labor and Workforce development said that the company had not sent a letter to the state announcing any layoffs.

Sunovion has seven products that are currently approved by the FDA, including, Xopenex, Xopenex HFA and Alvesco for asthma, Lunesta for insomnia, Omnaris for allergies, Brovana for COPD, and Latuda for schizophrenia.