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Pfizer expands cost cuts with new $1.5B target

Pfizer, already in the midst of an aggressive effort to trim spending, on Wednesday disclosed new plans to cut at least $1.5 billion in additional costs over the next several years. 

The program is meant to reduce what Pfizer spends on producing its medicines and will include “operational efficiencies, network structure changes and product portfolio enhancements,” the company said in a securities filing

“Given the complexity in manufacturing and longer lead times required to make changes, this program will be a multi-phased effort,” Pfizer added. The $1.5 billion target, which Pfizer expects to be realized by the end of 2027, is associated with the program’s first phase.

Layoffs will be part of the program, a Pfizer spokesperson confirmed in an email to BioPharma Dive. The company said it will incur one-time costs of roughly $1.7 billion, primarily this year, linked to severance and implementation. The spokesperson did not share how many jobs, or the types of roles, that would be affected.

The cuts are part of a broader reset Pfizer is undertaking amid substantially declining sales of its COVID-19 products. The company has been scaling back in response, including by shrinking its workforce. Already this year, Pfizer has disclosed layoffs at sites in New York, California, Washington and Colorado, as well as in Germany and Switzerland.

It’s not alone among large pharmaceutical companies. Bristol Myers SquibbBayerSanofi and Novartis have all either reduced spending, laid off staff or reprioritized research over the past year. 

Pfizer is also working to integrate its $43 billion acquisition of Seagen, a deal that prompted the pharma to create a new oncology business unit and reshuffle some of its executive team.