Fresh on the Market AbbVie Axing Hundreds of Jobs to Deal With Patent Losses

Published: Apr 16, 2013

AbbVie Inc. (ABBV), the drugmaker split off from Abbott Laboratories (ABT) this year, will fire its sales force for heart drugs as the medicines lose patent protection and face generic competition, according to a person familiar with the matter. The firings total in the mid-hundreds and are a mix of AbbVie employees and contract workers, said the person, who asked not to be identified because they weren’t authorized to speak about the issue. AbbVie is shifting its focus from primary care, such as drugs that treat a patient’s cholesterol, stroke or diabetes, to so-called specialty medications in areas of unmet health needs, Chief Financial Officer William Chase said in January. With the cardiology drugs losing patent protection, the North Chicago, Illinois-based company no longer needs a large sales force to advertise them to doctors.

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