According to reports in the Pharma BlogosphereTM (see below), Pfizer has laid off a "large number of PhD scientists" in an effort to get more lower-level "associates" to shoulder the company's basic research, aka innovation.
Perhaps "PhD Phobia" is behind this rollback of qualified scientists at a time when the industry needs more, not less innovation.
You may recall that back in January, when a study of DTC advertising was published in The Annals of Family Medicine, a Pfizer spokesman said in a phone interview: "It was a bunch of Ph.D.'s sitting around, looking at ads" (see "TV DTC Educate Little, Increase Sales Less").
"I've heard from more than one source that Pfizer has laid off a large number of research staff this week in Groton. This seems to have taken people by surprise in many cases, since the expectation was just that everyone would find out where they were on the new organization charts. Well, in a way, they did." (See "Layoffs - Again").
The talk on Wall Street now revolves around the innovation that Pfizer must buy through mergers, not innovation! In other words, Wall Street investors have little patience for the "Today’s drugs finance tomorrow’s innovation" argument. This is bad news for Pfizer's PhD research scientists!