It appears from the article that the move is generated more towards called made on family practice physicians, as vaccines or drugs marketed to oncologists, ophthalmologists, or dermatologists will still be handled by in house sales representatives, so specialty drug representatives appear to be safe, well so far, who knows if this will grow. No doubt a cost cutting move and less employee benefits to worry about, and even Pharma has some big related expenses in the insurance department with employee insurance benefits. 

Will others follow suit, I guess that remains to be seen, but outsourcing whether it be sales, R and D, etc. seems to be the imagename of the game.  More about outsourcing clinical trials can be read here.  BD

A few months ago, Merck said it was cutting about 15% of its U.S. sales force — some 1,200 positions. Now the drugmaker says its bringing in some contract sales reps to hawk its drugs.

The company has formed a “strategic partnership” with inVentiv Health, a shop that does lots of sales and marketing work for Big Pharma.

Merck spokeswoman Amy Rose told Dow Jones Newswires that “rather than recruit, hire or keep full-time representatives on the books, we’re creating a more flexible approach so as the market demands, we can expand and contract the number of reps we have at our disposal.” 


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