Big Pharma Layoffs by the Thousands: Are Bayer and BMS Harbingers of More? | BioSpace

Bayer and BMS

Pictured: Bayer and BMS buildings/iStock, Detlef Voigt, JHVEPhoto

During the first quarter of the 2024 earnings season, large drugmakers Bayer and Bristol Myers Squibb announced thousands of layoffs in two of the largest workforce reductions so far this year. Coming off years of upheaval in the biotech and pharma sectors, will this be a temporary bump in the road or the beginning of a significant wave of Big Pharma layoffs?  

In late April, BMS announced a sweeping “strategic productivity initiative” intended to generate approximately $1.5 billion in cost savings through 2025, including eliminating approximately 2,200 jobs this year while prioritizing the development of its key growth brands. BMS’ restructuring efforts come as the pharma sustained a 6% drop in Q1 sales of its lung cancer therapy Opdivo.

Meanwhile, Bayer just announced a headcount reduction of around 1,500…
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