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Bibiana Campos-Seijo is a former editor of Pharmaceutical Technology Europe.
Christmas is over. Everybody is back at work feeling a bit hungover, a lot poorer and alarmingly heavier...
Christmas is over. Everybody is back at work feeling a bit hungover, a lot poorer and alarmingly heavier. We have all enjoyed time with our families, made wonderful 'New Year resolutions' that we are sure to have forgotten in less than 10 days and exchanged gossip about the office Christmas party. Then we look forward to 2009 and wonder what it has in store for us. What do we see? Not a lot. Worse, we see a big ugly picture of darkness and credit crunch, peppered with images of job losses, house repossessions and rising energy bills. The media are not helping; in fact, they are doing a good job of painting a very bleak picture of the situation, rightly so, perhaps, but it doesn't help the feeling of unsettlement and mild panic that has set into our hearts.
Does the fact that it is a global phenomenon help people get on with the situation? I'm not sure. Personally, seeing it as a global occurrence helps me accept that it is going to be difficult for a while, and that we'd better keep fighting and moving forward. No matter who you are or where you are, you'll be affected. For others, the global scale of the crisis will make it even worse, more worrying, upsetting and frustrating. No matter what you do or how long you've prepared for this, you'll have to bear it.
Horrible as it is, the crisis is here to stay (with any luck only for a short while) and some global companies have announced the first (and hopefully last!) round of job cuts. Sony, the world's second biggest maker of consumer electronics will lose 8000 employers globally. RioTinto, one of the world's biggest mining companies, has confirmed 14000 job losses worldwide. The list continues and it is likely, in the coming months, to include some names from the pharmaceutical industry.
Let's hope the casualties are few and that the business models our companies adhere to are solid enough to withstand the blow. Let's hope the majority make it through and we see each other at the other end. Amidst all this doom and gloom, I would like to offer a ray of hope: say "it will pass" and that by 2010 we'll all be laughing and remembering 2008 and 2009 as a couple of bad years that, at least financially, are best forgotten.
On behalf of the Pharmaceutical Technology Europe team I would like to wish you a very happy and successful 2009.
Dr Bibiana Campos-Seijo