Skip to Main Content

Latest News

January 19, 2009
Volume 87, Number 3
p. 9

Pharma Research

Pfizer will eliminate up to 800 R&D positions in 2009

Rick Mullin

Pfizer will lay off up to 800 researchers and other employees in its Pfizer Global Research & Development division this year. The cuts amount to between 5 and 8% of the staff at PGRD, which has facilities in Groton, Conn., and Sandwich, England, as well as at four other U.S. locations. The company is not releasing the locations where job cuts are being made. Pfizer informed affected employees last week.

Ray Kerins, Pfizer's global head of media relations, tells C&EN that the job cuts are part of a reorganization under PGRD's new president, Martin Mackay. He notes that Mackay, in his first year on the job, has eliminated 37 drug development projects to center resources on the most promising projects in six therapeutic areas: pain, oncology, inflammatory disease, diabetes, schizophrenia, and Alzheimer's disease.

The layoffs are happening in the broader context of pharmaceutical industry cost-cutting on the eve of patent expirations for numerous blockbuster drugs. Pfizer, the world's largest drug company with an annual R&D budget of more than $7 billion, faces the loss of patent exclusivity for the cholesterol drug Lipitor—the world's top-selling drug—in 2011.

More Online

Stay current on the chemical industry's responses to changing economic conditions by visiting

Cuts in R&D staff at Pfizer have been anticipated for months, and the loss of 800 jobs is not indicative of a change in course for research, according to analysts.

"This represents a very small percentage of their research budget," says Jean P. LeCroy, a health care industry analyst at Natixis Securities North America. "But in terms of that many researchers and Ph.D.s getting laid off, it's probably a fairly significant event for the researchers and the economy."

Save/Share »

Chemical & Engineering News
ISSN 0009-2347
Copyright © 2009 American Chemical Society


Save/Share »



Our log-in process has changed. You need an ACS ID to access member-only content.



Questions or Problems?

Adjust text size:

A- A+

Articles By Topic