The system is broken and everyone knows it.
When you have 100,000+ sales reps out chasing a limited number of doctors, with the average rep getting (maybe) about 8- 10 minutes of face time with physicians each day, you have an unsustainable business model.
Pfizer has just announced the change that we all knew was on its way.
An announced 20% reduction in field force size is big news, because it may mean that the pharma sales “arms race” has finally come to an end. Now the big question is: will other major pharmaceutical companies follow suit? Cost-cutting, in a time when pipelines are becoming less fruitful, may look very attractive – and the P.R. value of cutting sales expenses when there is so much public criticism of “Big Pharma” may prove irresistible. Not that such a move would satisfy the critics for more than a millisecond…
Unfortunately, this will mean serious professional and personal disruption for a lot of folks. Major business evolution always has a price tag, and this effort to “right-size” will make a very rough year-end for some…including, undoubtedly, some very good and talented people.