Novartis to Cut 2,000 Swiss, U.S. Jobs

Vous croyez que de la délocalisation touche seulement des emplois à faibles valeurs ajoutées.

Oubliés cela, ce sont des emplois à très hauts niveaux qui se déplacent, car leurs coûts de main d’œuvre est nettement inférieure, soyez-assurer les Chinois et les Indiens sont aussi brillants que nous, par contre, ils n’ont pas tous les coûts que les pays industriels doivent assumés.

Trois articles sur le sujet, PHD, ingénieurs, informaticiens tous passent dans le tordeur de la mondialisation, car les multinationales sont imputables qu’aux actionnaires, non au pays d’origine.

Bienvenue, dans la RÉALITÉ ÉCONOMIQUE.

Extrait de : Novartis to Cut 2,000 Swiss, U.S. Jobs, Add Staff in China, Simeon Bennett, Bloomberg, Business Week, October 25 2011

Oct. 25 (Bloomberg) -- Novartis AG, Europe’s second-biggest pharmaceutical company, plans to eliminate 2,000 jobs in Switzerland and the U.S. and add employees in China and India to offset the effect of drug-price reductions.

The cuts, equal to 1 percent of Novartis’s workforce, will be implemented over three to five years, and will generate annual savings of more than $200 million, the Basel, Switzerland-based company said in a statement today. Novartis will close a plant in Nyon, Switzerland, that makes over-the- counter drugs, and chemical sites in Basel and Torre, Italy, and plans a fourth-quarter charge of about $300 million.

Chief Executive Officer Joe Jimenez has been reducing costs since he took the top job in February 2010. Government austerity measures in Europe have forced Novartis to lower prices by about 5 percent this year, he said on a call with reporters as the company announced that third-quarter profit rose 12 percent.

“Job cuts are happening in almost all large pharma companies,” said Tim Race, an analyst at Deutsche Bank AG in London. “It’s a consequence of squeezing prices, squeezing profitability. Pharma companies are reacting to maximize profitability, which is something they should be doing anyway.” He recommends buying Novartis shares.

Novartis will eliminate 1,100 jobs in Switzerland, with the balance in the U.S., Jimenez said. Some research will be moved to the U.S. from Switzerland, and reductions will be made in technical research and development, data management, clinical trial monitoring, drug safety and regulatory affairs. Novartis will add 700 positions in China and India in data management and trial monitoring, he said.

Drug Approval Delays

The company said in November it would cut 1,400 U.S. sales jobs. In March it said it would reduce operations in the U.K.

Novartis suffered a setback in its effort to develop new products to replace sales the company will lose to competition from generic drugs. Applications for U.S. approval of two experimental treatments for smoker’s cough, NVA237 and QVA149, will be delayed because additional data is needed, Novartis said. Vectura Group Plc, which licensed NVA237 to Novartis, fell 21 percent in London trading.

Novartis fell 3.3 percent to 50.10 Swiss francs in Zurich trading, the biggest drop since Aug. 10. The stock has declined 4.9 percent this year including reinvested dividends, compared with a 4.5 percent return for the Bloomberg Europe Pharmaceutical Index of 17 drugmakers.

Earnings Rise

Third-quarter earnings excluding some costs climbed to $3.54 billion, or $1.45 a share, from $3.15 billion, or $1.36 a share, a year earlier, Novartis said in the statement. That was in line with the average estimate of $1.44 a share from 19 analysts compiled by Bloomberg.

Sales of Gilenya, the multiple sclerosis pill approved in the U.S. in September 2010, were $153 million, up from $79 million in the second quarter. Diovan, Novartis’s best-selling blood pressure treatment, dropped 4 percent to $1.43 billion from a year earlier. It loses patent protection in Europe this quarter and in the U.S. next year. The cancer drug Gleevec, which starts to lose patent protection in 2014, rose 13 percent to $1.14 billion.

The smoker’s cough drugs are a key to offsetting lost revenue, said Mark Purcell, an analyst at Barclays Capital Group in London.

“The delay may actually be significant for the outlook,” he wrote in a note to clients today. “The company claims it can make up for patent losses with new and recently launched products. Between now and the loss of Diovan and Gleevec, only respiratory is big enough in our view to support that statement.”

Alcon’s Growth

Sales rose 18 percent to $14.8 billion, meeting the average prediction of $14.8 billion among 21 analyst estimates. Novartis said it expects full-year sales growth in the low double-digits excluding currency shifts. The company doesn’t forecast profit.

Alcon, which includes eye medicines and Ciba Vision contact lenses, generated revenue of $2.5 billion. That would have been an increase of 12 percent had Alcon been part of the company for all of last year’s third quarter.

The unit received a subpoena from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services relating to a civil investigation of health-care fraud allegations, Novartis said in a regulatory filing.

The government is seeking documents relating to the marketing practices as well as the remuneration of health-care providers in connection with Alcon products including Vigamox, Nevanac, Omnipred, Econopred and surgical equipment, the company said. Alcon is cooperating with the investigation, Novartis said.

Further price cuts may affect Novartis less than its rivals because it relies on government reimbursement for about 55 percent of sales, compared with as much as 90 percent for “pure play” pharmaceutical companies, Jimenez said.

Extrait de: America's vanishing science jobs, By JOSH BLOOM, New York Post, June 23, 2011

The folks at Scientific American have launched "1,000 Scientists in 1,000 Days" -- a program to bring together scientists, teachers and students to improve America's "dismal" showing among wealthy countries (27th out of 29) in graduating college students with degrees in science or engineering. I'm sure they mean well -- but, at least as it applies to the field of chemistry,

"1,000 Unemployed Scientists Living With Their Parents at Age 35
While Working at the Gap"

would be a better name.

After earning my PhD, in chemistry, I worked in drug-discovery research for more than 20 years. Aside from being a fascinating profession, it was pretty secure -- until the last decade. Then it became anything but.  

Why the change? Well, it costs about $1 billion to bring a new drug to market. Blockbuster drugs that bring in multiple billions in profits, such as Lipitor, are needed to support the R&D costs of all other drugs -- ones that don't pan out, and ones that just can't help enough people to justify the investment before the patent expires. And the patents of almost all current blockbusters are expiring about now, cutting drug companies' revenues drastically.

Adding to the problem is the Food and Drug Administration, which has become overly restrictive and risk-averse, has made it very difficult (and even more expensive) for companies to bring replacement drugs to market.

To trim expenses, companies began to outsource research to India and China. It started as a trickle, but soon became a tsunami, leaving many thousands of highly intelligent and well-trained professionals with nothing to do -- a shameful waste of talent.

My colleagues and I at Wyeth watched helplessly as one company after another shed employees in huge numbers -- 300,000 since 2000. When Pfizer -- facing the looming expiration of its Lipitor patent and a poor research pipeline -- bought Wyeth for its portfolio of products in 2009, it cut about 25,000 jobs, with more to come.

Most of the combined company's research sites have either closed or are in the process of doing so. Before long, the world's largest pharmaceutical company will be conducting very little research in the US.

So, what do thousands of unemployed chemists do? Good question. The employment section of the latest (June 13) issue of our trade magazine, Chemical and Engineering News, is hardly promising. It lists a total of one industrial position and two college tenure-track faculty openings in the US. (Of course, there are online sites with more jobs, but the situation there is still bleak).

And good luck finding a high-school teaching job. Last year, one of my old colleagues decided he wanted to teach science in New Jersey -- but found out that not a single position was available in the entire state. Previous industry casualties had probably filled the few openings.

It wasn't always this way. The mid-1990s saw a shortage of chemists, with drug companies hiring like crazy. Bristol-Meyers Squibb, for one, offered cars as signing bonuses. But the company has fired over 10,000 employees since 2000; one wonders if any of them are now living in those cars.

Employment in many industries is cyclical, but in the pharmaceutical industry the cycle has come to a halt. Dozens of smaller drug companies no longer exist, thanks to mergers and takeovers. Site closings usually follow a merger, so research infrastructure is vanishing, too. Labs are shuttered, sold to universities or torn down to save on property taxes and maintenance costs. These are gone for good.

So, what's my solution? Well, Scientific American could tap 1,000 scientists from the pool of the unemployed and bring them into schools. When the kids keep getting the same answer to the question "Where do you work?" they'll figure it out.

We don't need more scientists -- not unless there are jobs for them.

Josh Bloom is director of chemical and pharmaceutical sciences at the American Council of Science and Health.

Extrait de : Toujours plus d’entreprises suisses franchissent le Rubicon en matière de délocalisations, Bastien Buss, Le Temps (Suisse), 27 octobre 2011

 Interpharma dénonce une péjoration «préoccupante» des conditions-cadres

Il y a quelques mois, ce n’était encore qu’une menace latente. Les délocalisations, terme anxiogène s’il en est, d’entreprises suisses se concrétisent aujourd’hui. Elles semblent même s’accélérer. Alors que le cas de Novartis a défrayé la chronique, suscitant beaucoup d’incompréhension, c’est n’est que la pointe de l’iceberg et le début d’un phénomène qui pourrait encore prendre de l’ampleur en 2012, estime l’économiste Beat Kappeler.

«Certaines entreprises risquent bien de devoir aller produire ailleurs pour des raisons de coûts», selon l’éditorialiste. Mais tous ces mouvements ne seront pas forcément connus.

«Il risque d’y avoir des pans cachés de délocalisations, comme dans les services ou l’informatique»

, craint l’économiste.

En d’autres termes :

Les sociétés suisses vont faire appel à des prestataires indiens ou chinois, en dénonçant ou en ne renouvelant pas leurs contrats avec des partenaires helvétiques.

«C’est maintenant que les entreprises établissent leur budget. Celles qui réfléchissaient à un éventuel transfert des capacités de production pourraient franchir le cap. Le danger est plus élevé en cette fin d’année», relate Daniel Lampart, chef économiste auprès de l’Union syndicale suisse. «Surtout que nos principaux partenaires commerciaux sont au bord de la récession.»

D’autres annonces que Novartis pourraient-elles suivre dans la pharma? «Cela ne m’étonnerait guère. Nous devons constater une dégradation des conditions-cadres en Suisse. Il y a bien sûr le franc, la réduction des prix des médicaments, mais il faut aussi mentionner une bureaucratie peu propice aux activités de recherche et de développement et aux essais cliniques. De plus, l’approbation de nouveaux médicaments prend assez souvent plus de temps qu’en Europe», constate, amer, Thomas Cueni, secrétaire général d’Interpharma, association faîtière des entreprises pharmaceutiques suisses pratiquant la recherche.

«Revitaliser le pays»

Et de rappeler que, en Suisse, les sociétés dépensent six fois plus pour la recherche qu’elles ne réalisent de chiffre d’affaires dans ce ­secteur. Evoquant une situation «préoccupante», l’association tire d’ailleurs la sonnette d’alarme, même si elle admet que la Suisse possède encore de multiples atouts. «Il faut une réflexion urgente pour revitaliser le pays dans ces domaines.»

Beaucoup d’observateurs soulignent que délocaliser prend du temps et impose des contraintes parfois trop lourdes pour les entreprises. Mais,

«contrairement aux idées reçues, il est possible de transférer très rapidement une partie de la production. Si l’entreprise dispose de sites à l’étranger, il suffit de déplacer des machines»,

rétorque Beat Kappeler. Selon lui, ce sont justement les secteurs des machines et des métaux qui risquent de payer un lourd tribut.

Difficile pour les PME

Une impression partagée par Ivo Zimmermann, chef de la communication auprès de Swissmem, association faîtière de l’industrie des machines, des équipements électriques et des métaux. Alors que Huber + Suhner va délocaliser 80 emplois vers la Pologne et la Tunisie, cas qui a suivi ceux de Symantec, Energizer, etc., «d’autres mesures similaires sont à craindre parmi nos membres», s’inquiète Ivo Zimmermann. Il souligne toutefois que l’arrimage franc-euro (à 1,20 franc) a un peu, bien qu’insuffisamment, détendu la situation. De fait, une réduction de 2 à 3% des effectifs est plausible pour 2012, soit une perte de 10 000 emplois pour la branche.

Lean Companies Still Looking to Cut

Despite another quarter of robust corporate profits, an ominous impulse is stirring at many big companies-more restructuring, more job cuts. Kate Linebaugh discusses on the Markets Hub.

Wall Street Journal, 10/24/2011