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Big Pharma: Adapting and Reacting

There has been much commotion and disruption in the pharmaceutical industry in recent years, and there seems to be no sign of it letting up. As the pending patent cliff looms ever larger, companies are being forced to make some extremely painful decisions.

In the media, it seems as if not even a day goes by in which there isnít an announcement about another company announcing a new round of layoffs. There have been over 100,000 jobs lost in the pharmaceutical industry since 2003, with more planned for the coming year.

Layoffs represent one, albeit major, attempt to reduce costs. In many instances, the job losses are a result of a non-core skill that is being outsourced to a third party at a lower cost, or for a shorter period of time. However, there is only so much cost-cutting that can be done before companies start diminishing their infrastructure. In speaking with many industry participants, there is strong focus on the undercurrent of risk management in the industry, which has a far greater long-term impact than cost cutting. This focus on risk is pervasive throughout the industry.


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Michael Steiner is RegentAtlanticís Pharmaceutical Executive Services Group Leader. Michael currently advises many current and former executives and senior researchers of pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. He has been recognised by Reuters AdvicePoint as a Top Adviser for 2008, with Top Rankings in several categories including the NJNY- PA region, advisers with a corporate executive focus and advisers under 40.
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