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The MedZilla Report for January 2010 - Health Care Closes 2009 Strong, But Pharma Continues Shedding Jobs
Date:1/23/2010

extending the lives of patients. This particular drug is part of about 25 currently in testing for treatment of cancer (dailyfinance.com, 12/30/09). Pfizer, Eli Lilly, AstraZeneca, and Johnson & Johnson together have announced cuts of more than 40,000 in 2009. Another merger, that of Merck with Schering-Plough, is said to be hitting sales representatives particularly hard (nj.com, 1/7/10).

"Part of the problem for the pharmaceutical industry is that all spending, including healthcare, was down in 2009," said Dr. Frank Heasley, president and CEO of MedZilla.com, the internet's key source for pharmaceutical and health care job postings and information. The information came from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. "Drugs are expensive, and becoming more so, and with the economy still down and unemployment what it is, sales reps can make twice as many doctor visits, but if there's a cheaper alternative, people are going to use it simply because it costs less." Dr. Heasley also noted that insurers are attempting to save money themselves by being restrictive about the use of generic over brand-name medications.

Another concern for the pharmaceutical industry is what will happen when the health care reform bill passes. PhRMA has worked to support the industry's interests over the past few months, and recently told the Wall Street Journal that the net impact was likely to be marginal, no more than two percent in either direction (12/24/09).

But even as the pharmaceutical industry faces more difficult months ahead while the economy begins to rebuild, the health care industry has continued to grow. Of the 22,000 jobs added in December, 9,000 were in physicians' offices and 8,000 were in home health care, a subgroup of the industry projected to expand greatly in the next ten years, owing mostly
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