Saturday, 3 May 2008

This is not a productivity programme

Schering-Plough Corp., the Kenilworth, New Jersey-based pharmaceutical company, has announced that it will cut costs through layoffs and other reductions. The company promoted this as a 'productivity transformation program' - cutting 10 percent of its jobs and shutting plants to save $1.5 billion annually.

This announcement came two days after a panel of doctors had said that its crucial cholesterol drugs Vytorin and Zetia Vytorin should not be used as an initial treatment. The panel recommendation could badly affect sales, which reached a combined $5 billion last year.

This is NOT a productivity programme. It may be a rational and necessary decision in response to external market conditions but to masquerade it as a productivity programme does a(nother) disservice to the concept of productivity.

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