miércoles, 5 de noviembre de 2014

Big pharma becomes a smaller employer as biotech booms / EvaluatePharma


Big pharma has become a different employer over the past decade. From mega mergers and the push into emerging markets to the dramatic restructuring of sales and R&D departments, the shape and spread of their staff has shifted. Over the same period, however, the size of their employee roll call has actually changed very little. 

At the end of 2013 big pharma employed only 3% fewer people than it did in 2003, a drop of almost 31,500, data collected by EvaluatePharma reveal. While huge redundancy programmes affecting thousands might still be making headlines; these topline figures do not paint a picture of a dramatically shrinking industry. Conversely, for an image of spectacular expansion look no further than the world just outside big pharma – other drug companies with a market cap of more than $30bn more than doubled their headcount over the past decade, adding more than 130,000 employees.

The slow shrinking of big pharma employmen

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The previous analysis, constructed from data found in annual reports, covers a period when a number of mega mergers had a huge impact on individual companies. 

Pfizer completed two in the last decade – the move on Pharmacia in 2003 caused its year-end employee number to balloon to 122,000 and then fall gradually until it bought Wyeth in 2009. In 2004 the merger of Sanofi- Synthélabo and Aventis created Sanofi-Aventis, today’s Sanofi, and Merck moved on Schering-Plough in 2009. 

Novartis, currently the biggest pharma employer, began to consolidate Alcon in 2010, which had a marked impact on its staff numbers – the eye specialist employed 15,700 before it was taken over. Meanwhile Abbott has gone the other way and broken up, explaining its big drop last year and the appearance of AbbVie

One hugely important strategic deal that did not affect these figures was Roche’s consolidation of Genentech – the Swiss company included the biotech’s employees in its headcount before the full takeover in 2009. 

Acquisitions will always have an impact on headcount, and none more so than the mega- merger, both through the instant boom in staff numbers and the inevitable “synergies” pursued in the years following, when big headcount reductions are typically made.

The growth of the other $30bn+ drug maker


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