Pharmaceutical companies have made adjustments in order to weather this economic storm, with issues like the looming expiration of important patents for major players in the pharmaceutical sector. How exactly are the big pharma companies coping with slow sales in the present and the prospect of reduced revenues in the near future? For many companies, the answer has been to merge with other companies who have a stronger outlook.
One of the recent mergers which has a bearing on the employment prospects of people looking for pharmaceutical careers is the purchase of one industry giant by another: the acquisition of Wyeth by Pfizer. The move has been seen as an attempt to insulate Pfizer from declining revenues as its top-selling drug Lipitor's patent expires, along with several others of the firm's most lucrative products. It's too soon at this point to say exactly how many pharmaceutical jobs will be directly affected by this acquisition other than that the number will likely be well over 100,000.
There are rumors of other mergers coming in the near future, though these are at this point merely speculations; though if some of these deals such as a merger of Bristol-Meyers Squibb and Sanofi were to come to pass, it is certain that the industry will be seeing another round of job cuts which would number in the thousands.
At the moment, the pharmaceutical industry seems less stable than it has for some time, with Glaxo Smith-Kline slashing 10,000 pharmaceutical jobs and many smaller companies making less massive, but still significant reductions in their workforce. While pharmacy technician jobs seem likely to remain a growing field, it may take several years for employment prospects to grow brighter for recent graduates at many of the larger firms in the pharma industry.
There is considerable skepticism being expressed by industry experts that these mergers, job cuts and other cost cutting measures may not be enough and that a different, more agile approach is needed if the major pharmaceutical companies are to remain viable in the face of increasing competition from companies in India and China. An entirely different approach to the business is called for, feel many industry observers. The old guard in the pharmaceutical industry will need to evolve or die, with companies becoming more agile and responsive to the changing world economy, especially as it relates to pharmaceuticals.
With the healthcare sector's continual growth, it is obvious to anyone that there is a future for pharmaceutical companies and the most important and lucrative pharmaceutical careers of the future will belong to those who have the vision needed to take the industry on a course which allows pharma companies to grow and adapt along with a fast moving world.