Pfizer Inc. to Cut Benefits for Fired Workers as Company Trims Costs

Published: Apr 09, 2012

Pfizer Inc. (PFE), the drugmaker that’s fired 26,000 workers in three years, is cutting its employee severance package after May 14, according to an internal memo. The world’s biggest pharmaceutical company has been focused on trimming costs since it acquired Wyeth in January 2009. This year, Pfizer is wrestling with sales losses after its biggest product, the cholesterol drug Lipitor with $9.6 billion in 2011 sales, began facing generic competition for the first time. Chief Executive Officer Ian Read, who took over in December 2010, has pledged to cut $1 billion from operations in 2012. The memo says basic severance pay will be lowered to eight weeks from 12 for U.S. workers, and that health benefits will last eight weeks rather than a year. Employees get additional weeks of pay and health insurance the longer they’ve been with the company. The memo was supplied to Bloomberg by a Pfizer employee, and confirmed by Joan Campion, a spokeswoman.

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