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9 of 10 Major Pharmaceutical Firms Reduced Sales Force in 2010Despite the good performance of pharmaceutical companies throughout 2010, and indeed throughout the great recession, and that global expenditure on sales, sales force personnel and other marketing channels increased by 1.5% (reaching approximately $91 billion), 9 out of 10 major pharmaceutical firms reduced their sales force in Europe and the US in 2010, according to a report by market research firm Cegedim Strategic Data (CSD).
A slight increase in global sales was due to high growth in emerging economies such as China, Latin America and also in Japan, where, according to Christopher Wooden, vice president for the CDS global promotion audit, companies have “quickly adopted the use of meetings and events as an efficient way to achieve high quality interaction with a maximum number of healthcare professionals."
On the other hand, those companies expanding in the aforementioned economies are reducing their sales force in more established markets. Christopher Wooden stated that “there appears to be a broad trend in seeking scale efficiencies in the major western markets as nine of the top 10 companies in the USA and Europe cut back on sales force levels".
If one takes into consideration the latest industry trends with limited R&D expenditure, patent expiry for some of the major blockbuster drugs and the consolidation that the industry is experiencing, “sales force and marketing in the mature western markets will likely be streamlined over the next few years,” Mr Wooden added.
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