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Pfizer to Slash R&D Staff
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Drugmaker Pfizer is to cut its research and development staff by around 800 people worldwide. WNPR's Harriet Jones reports.

There will be layoffs at its research and development headquarters in Connecticut, but the company won’t yet say how many.

The move is a turnaround from previous cost cutting efforts, which targeted sales and administrative jobs, but left science posts largely untouched.

The company says it will continue to shift its emphasis, pursuing potential new drugs through takeovers, or partnerships and licensing agreements with biotech firms.

Addressing a healthcare conference in New York, head of Research and Development Martin Mackay said over the last year Pfizer has undergone big changes in its quest for successful new drugs.

"In terms of working on the most valuable portfolio, and the one we think we can prosecute to the very best of our ability, we made some decisions and we highlighted some disease areas as what we called 'invest to win'.  And those are Alzheimer's disease, oncology, schizophrenia, immunology, inflammation, pain and diabetes.  And then we made hard decisions about those areas that we would simply exit."

The cut will represent between five and eight percent of Pfizer’s current research staff.