The management and works councils of the pharmaceutical giant Boehringer Ingelheim in Rhineland-Palatinate are coping with unfamiliar events these days.
Germany’s second-largest producer of pharmaceuticals faces a painful round of cuts that could mean the loss of up to a thousand jobs in Germany. After two decades of expansion, such a cutback could be a shock to the system for the harmonious family business, even though such cost-cutting measures are now routine in the drug industry.
Practically all major drug producers including the German company Bayer, U.S.-based Merck and Roche and Novartis International in Switzerland have undertaken more or less severe efficiency programs in recent years. Merck and U.S.-based Pfizer together have slashed tens of thousands of jobs to compensate for dwindling sales and the expiration of patents.