Report Shows Gilead Creates $3.5 Million per Employee

Report Reveals Gilead Outrivals Everyone in Job Creation
July 24, 2015
By Mark Terry, Breaking News Staff

EvaluatePharma published its annual jobs report this week, culling data from biopharma’s annual reports to give insight on profitability and jobs on a per-employee basis.

In terms of sales per employee, Gilead Sciences, Inc. leads the pack with a whopping $3.5 million per employee, followed by Celgene Corporation with $1.26 million per employee and Shire with $1.16 million per employee.


Johnson & Johnson ranks at the bottom of the top 10 with $590,000 per employee, giving some credence to Mad Money’s Jim Cramer, who recently called for the giant pharma company to break into three separate companies in order to become more efficient and focused.

The report has a few surprises. For example, out of big biotech companies, which generally are strong job creators, Amgen , “which has previously featured heavily in these annual analyses, has been forced to join big pharma in swinging the axe under the pressure of its own efficiency problems.” This is supported by a recent announcement on June 29 that the company was auctioning off assets from its Longmont, Colo. Campus, a follow-up to a July 2014 announcement it was cutting 2,900 jobs and closing facilities in Washington state and Colorado.

Among so-called “non-big pharma,” Amgen ranks seventh with about 17,900 employees, between Actavis plc with 21,600 and Valeant Pharmaceuticals International, Inc. with 16,800. The number one employer in this category is Bayer , with 118,900.


The report is careful to provide granularity to the numbers, noting when employee numbers are skewed by merger and acquisition activity. Companies that have been most likely to hire due to organic growth as opposed to through mergers and acquisitions are Baxter International , Novo Nordisk and Celgene. “For Novo and Celgene,” the report states, “as well as Biogen, Inc. and of course Gilead and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. , employees have been added on the back of product launches.”

In May 2015, Gilead announced it was investing $100 million in expansion and upgrades at its facilities in Alberta, Canada. It was hiring another 170 scientists in Edmonton in support of new therapies, active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) for clinical research and supply materials for new launches in hepatitis C virus (HCV), HIV/AIDS and oncology.

Both Amgen and Regeneron have been in the news lately with positive trial data for cholesterol medications that, if approved, are likely to make major headway in a lucrative market. Amgen’s evolocumab consistently reduced LDL cholesterol over a one-year period. Regneron, in collaboration with Sanofi , indicated their cholesterol medication Praluent (alirocumab) also showed promise in Phase III clinical trials. Big pharma companies, according to the report, have made some surprising changes, both in terms of job creation and job elimination. From 2004 to 2014 Novartis went from 81,392 employees to 133,413 employees. Even from 2009 to 2014 the company showed a 34 percent increase in headcount. Johnson & Johnson, despite the questions regarding efficiency—or maybe because of efficiency questions—showed a 10 percent increase in headcount from 2009 to 2014. In 2004, J&J employed 109,900 people and in 2014 employed 126,500 people.

On the bottom of the big pharma list is Bristol-Myers Squibb Company , having dropped the number of employees by 11 percent from 2009 to 2014, from 28,000 to 25,000. That’s an even more startling number when you take into account that it employed 43,000 people in 2004. The report points out that “the fall is largely due to divestments, most notably that of its Mead Johnson baby nutrition business in 2009.”


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