jueves, 28 de junio de 2012

Visita Médica: No es tiempo para..."sobretiempos".

Confronted with expiring patents, increased competition from generic-drug makers and potential ramifications of President Barack Obama's health-care law, pharmaceutical companies have been hemorrhaging jobs for well over a year, highlighted by recent rounds of layoffs from Merck, Pfizer, AstraZeneca and Novartis.

So when the Supreme Court ruled Monday that pharmaceutical companies are exempt from paying their salespeople overtime, it seemed as if drug sales representatives were dealt yet another crushing blow.

The ruling may have actually saved the jobs of thousands of pharmaceutical sales reps.

In the case, two former salespeople had sued drug maker GlaxoSmithKline for overtime pay on behalf of a nationwide class of sales reps. Lower courts had issued conflicting rulings on the matter and the Labor Department had backed the views of the sales reps beginning in 2009. An attorney for the plaintiffs, Thomas C. Goldstein, declined to comment.

"We vehemently disagree with the decision," said Jeremy Heisler, founding partner of Sanford Wittels & Heisler, LLP, another of the law firms representing the plaintiffs in the Supreme Court appeals process. The suit had been backed by "enormous support" from drug reps in the industry and the idea the ruling may have saved jobs "is suspect at best," Mr. Heisler said.

Recruiters for the drug industry said, however, that had Supreme Court justices sided with the drug reps, another round of industrywide layoffs may have followed. "It would have vastly accelerated the [job-cutting] trend," said Steven Raz, co-founder and managing partner of Cornerstone Search Group, a New Jersey-based pharmaceutical and biotechnology executive search firm. Although it will have a neutral effect on hiring, the ruling likely prevented cost-cutting measures that would have surely involved layoffs, Mr. Raz said.

GlaxoSmithKline would have had to fork over billions of dollars in retroactive overtime pay while other drug makers would have faced similar litigation in the coming months. Pharmaceutical companies would have had to re-evaluate their overhead costs and make tough decisions, said Mark Cannistraro, president of Apex Executive Recruiting Inc., a California-based recruiting firm that specializes in the pharmaceutical space. (Ver)

Ver también:

NOVARTIS paga "sobretiempos" / Visitadores médicos "ganan" a destiempo...

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