Sector News

Sanofi plots 670 layoffs in France as local tensions brew

December 7, 2018
Life sciences

Sanofi may be on the up-and-up thanks to its vaccines unit and new anti-inflammatory star Dupixent, but the company still intends to shed more than 600 jobs in its home country over the next couple of years.

The French drugmaker told unions Wednesday that it’s plotting 670 cuts in France between now and 2020, a union representative told Reuters. The layoffs will hit the company’s human resources, IT and finance departments, among others.

Sanofi will also outsource 80 IT jobs, according to the report. A Sanofi spokesperson did not immediately return FiercePharma’s request for comment.

That’s not to say Sanofi intends to neglect France, though. It plans to invest €700 million in the country to upgrade manufacturing sites for vaccines and other biologics, Reuters reported.

Still, the layoffs could spark outrage in a country that’s already experiencing some of its fiercest protests in recent history. What started as opposition to fuel tax increases has spilled over into several other issues and general anti-government sentiment.

“We are blindsided as Sanofi makes significant amounts of profits. And at a time of strong social tensions in France, the government is looking the other way,” union representative Thierry Bodin told Reuters.

Sanofi has made several rounds of layoffs in recent years, including in France. In February of 2016, reports listed more than 500 chopped jobs in the country as part of CEO Olivier Brandicourt’s $1.6 billion cost-cutting drive.

The company’s cardio-metabolic sales force in the U.S. has also been hit hard as pricing pressure squeezed Sanofi’s diabetes unit. Earlier this year, the pharma giant said it would eliminate 400 workers, and that announcement followed a December 2016 move to slash 20% of its U.S. diabetes sales force.

Luckily for Sanofi, these days, other products are moving in to fill the gap. In the third quarter, sales from new products—led by Dupixent—more than made up for the sales void created by low-cost competitors to Lantus and Renvela, helping Brandicourt usher in a “new growth phase” for Sanofi.

Sanofi isn’t the only Big Pharma with job cuts in process or coming soon. Bayer, for one, said last week that it would cut 12,000 jobs as it sells off business units and remakes the company for its post-Monsanto-buyout future.

By Carly Helfand

Source: Fierce Pharma

Related News

April 17, 2021

Thermo Fisher to buy research contractor PPD in $17B deal

Life sciences

Thermo Fisher Scientific plans to buy PPD for $17.4 billion to bolster its clinical research service offerings to pharmaceutical and biotech companies.

April 17, 2021

Nestlé finds supplement cocktail slashes preterm birth in major preconception study

Life sciences

Nestlé Research has linked a specific blend of myo-inositol (a type of sugar), probiotics, riboflavin, zinc and vitamins D, B6 and B12 to the decreased incidence of preterm birth when consumed before and during pregnancy.

April 17, 2021

Eli Lilly, riding pharma’s rising digital wave, drafts Apple exec to replace Shah as CDO

Life sciences

Eli Lilly hired a new digital chief from Apple in another consumer switch for pharma and as the industry speeds up its shift to online strategies.

Send this to a friend