Pfizer Inc. to Cut 600 Jobs as Lipitor Sales Decline

Published: Dec 20, 2012

Pfizer Inc. (PFE), the company that lost its patent a year ago on the top-selling drug Lipitor, is firing almost 20 percent of its roughly 3,000-person sales force for primary-care drugs, said a person familiar with the matter. The cuts, about 600 positions, are to begin this month and are part of the New York-based company’s continuing effort to lower costs, said the person, who asked not to be named because they weren’t authorized to discuss the matter publicly. Pfizer has been cutting expenses under Chief Executive Officer Ian Read as it seeks to reposition itself after the loss of Lipitor, the cholesterol-lowering medicine that generated $9.6 billion in revenue in 2011. Read has said he’s refocusing the company to bring new drugs to market as it continues to integrate a decade’s worth of acquisitions. “As part of our strategy to allocate our resources, investments and people to the areas that best serve our patients and customers, we continually evaluate how we can be more efficient and effective,” Mackay Jimeson, a Pfizer spokesman, wrote in an e-mail. “As a result, we are making changes in some segments of our field force to better match the future needs of the business.” Pfizer rose 1.1 percent to $25.64 at 4 p.m. New York time. The stock is up 18 percent since the start of the year. Primary-care drugs make up Pfizer’s top-selling products, and include the erectile dysfunction pill Viagra, pain therapy Lyrica and the arthritis treatment Celebrex.

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