- Two things are driving pharma companies in China to changej—market changes and a government focus on curtailing corruption. In that context, BMS is cutting up to 1,000 jobs in the country.
- BMS calls the job cuts "part of our organizational evolution."
- Many of the positions that are being eliminated are sales rep positions.
China's focus on corruption has cast a stark light on pharma companies and employees who do not take a "best practices" approach to doing business. For example, earlier this year, GSK paid a record $468 million fine on charges of bribing physicians.
China wants a reformed pharma industry that relies on a marketing-centric approach which uses medical communications officers in lieu of over-reliance on sales representatives. For their part, sales reps in China are facing many of the challenges that they are in other markets, including the U.S.—notably, a lack of institutional access.
Some companies are working to change this dynamic by shifting the sales rep culture. In fact, Glaxo recently rolled out a program in which sales reps are rewarded for technical knowledge, the quality of service, and their ability to help improve patient care and overall performance based on their input.