Pfizer, BMS continue the pharma layoff trend
Pfizer and Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS) have revealed major restructuring moves that will see cuts of 700 and 800, respectively, to their work force.

The New York City-based Pfizer announced that it will cut 700 jobs within its French operations. The company said that the reorganization would affect its Paris headquarters, especially the sales force.

Pfizer said that the restructuring was necessary because of the rising cost of developing drugs and tougher regulations leading to fewer products making it to the market. The company also will lose exclusive rights to sell its blockbuster Lipitor in the U.S. through the expiration of its patent in late 2011.

The New York City-based BMS [Bristol Meyer Squibb?] said it will cut another 10 percent of its work force on top of a 10 percent reduction already under way, bringing its planned reductions to about 8,000 employees by 2010. The drug maker said it expects to have cut 800 positions as part of the latest round of cuts by the end of the month. Additionally, BMS is continuing with its previous moves announced in July to eliminate 4,300 jobs.

BMS, also facing pressure from looming patent expirations and difficulty in finding new products, is seeking to reduce its costs by $2.5 billion by 2012, according to the Wall Street Journal (WSJ).

The latest round of cuts will be broad and global, including researchers and sales employees, the company said. The cuts are “designed to help us address the challenges and uncertainties our company is facing in the short and long term,” BMS spokeswoman Sonia Choi told the WSJ.