Pharma Job Cuts Cause Anxiety for European Governments - Pharmaceutical Technology

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Pharma Job Cuts Cause Anxiety for European Governments
With downsizing occurring more frequently than ever within the pharmaceutical industry, is Europe doing enough to curb further job losses that could threaten the recovery of its economy?




European governments should be concerned about the current situation of job cuts within the pharmaceutical sector as they are taking place against a backdrop of severe economic problems. In particular, the UK government should be more proactive, especially because its previous attempts to prevent these job cuts were unable to influence company opinions. While not finding ideal solutions, France and Switzerland have at least managed to prompt major companies to rethink their approach to cutbacks.

In late 2012, GlaxoSmithKline’s CEO, Sir Andrew Witty, painted a depressing picture of the European market from a company’s perspective; analysts have linked such statements to future job losses (15). Given that GlaxoSmithKline is a major UK company, it would be prudent for the government to take heed of this situation and respond constructively to any downturn for the pharmaceutical job market.

1. EFPIA website, “The pharmaceutical industry in figures,” www.efpia.eu, accessed 3 May 2013.

2. N. Jessop, Pharm. Tech. Eur. 25 (2) 12-14 (2013).

3. The Guardian website, “Budget 2011: Sandwich will lose more than its jobs when Pfizer closes,” www.guardian.co.uk, accessed 3 May 2013.

4. Unite the Union website, “Unite’s reaction to the closure of Pfizer in Sandwich, Kent,” http://archive.unite-theunion.org, accessed 3 May 2013.

5. The Guardian website, “AstraZeneca cuts 2300 sales and administration jobs,” www.guardian.co.uk, accessed 3 May 2013.

6. Reuters website, “Ailing AstraZeneca to cut one in 10 jobs,” www.reuters.com, accessed 3 May 2013.

7. The Guardian website, “AstraZeneca to cut 2150 jobs in George Osborne’s constituency,” www.guardian.co.uk, accessed 3 May 2013.

8. International Service of the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation website, “Novartis U-turn is a win-win solution,” www.swissinfo.ch, accessed 3 May 2013.

9. BBC website, “Novartis job cuts plan in Horsham shocking,” www.bbc.co.uk, accessed 3 May 2013.

10. Pharmafile website, “Novartis pledges to maintain R&D presence in Horsham,” www.pharmafile.com, accessed 3 May 2013.

11. Le Figaro, “Sanofi va supprimer des milliers d’emplois en France,” Press Release, 5 July 2012.

12. UK Reuters website, “Sanofi cuts fewer French jobs than planned after government pressure,” http://uk.reuters.com, accessed 3 May 2013.

13. Le Figaro, “Sanofi: des restructurations douloureuses en France,” Press Release, 9 Jan. 2013.

14. Wall Street Journal website, “Change France? Sanofi finds it can’t,” http://online.wsj.com, accessed 3 May 2013.

15. The Telegraph website, “GSK to review European operations amid sales fall,” www.telegraph.co.uk, accessed 3 May 2013.


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