Pfizer is laying off 300 people from its Canadian workforce, reports The Globe and Mail. That represents about 11 percent of its workers in that country, the paper adds.
"The move comes more than a year after the drugmaker disclosed plans to cut another $1 billion or so in expenses, with a first phase that will amount to $500 million in cutbacks that were to take place last year," writes Ed Silverman at Pharmalot. "The move came in response to the loss of patent protection for the Lipitor cholesterol pill, a $10.7 billion seller, and other big-selling meds."
Most of the cuts will be to Pfizer's sales and marketing force. “We have been forced to adjust our sales force to reflect the changes the pharmaceutical industry is undergoing, namely the loss of patent protection on bestselling drugs,” says Rhonda O'Gallagher, the executive director of corporate communications at Pfizer Canada, in The Globe and Mail.
For Montreal, where Pfizer's Canadian headquarters are located, this is only the latest of changes to the pharmaceutical industry, The Globe and Mail notes. Earlier in the year, Boehringer Ingelheim announced that it would be closing its facility just north of Montreal, and other pharma companies have also had layoffs and closures in the past few years.