Pfizer Inc said on Tuesday it is reducing its U.S. sales staff as it expects doctors and other healthcare providers to want fewer face-to-face interactions with salespeople after the COVID-19 pandemic ends.
The move comes as the company is expected to announce more than $80 billion in revenue in 2021 on strong sales of the COVID-19 vaccine it developed with Germany’s BioNTech SE. That would be record sales for a pharmaceutical company, according to Pfizer Chief Executive Albert Bourla.
“We are evolving into a more focused and innovative biopharma company, and evolving the way we engage with healthcare professionals in an increasingly digital world,” the company said in a statement.
“There will be some changes to our workforce to ensure we have the right expertise and resources in place to meet our evolving needs.”
The company did not specify how many sales jobs it was cutting.
A source familiar with the matter said Pfizer was eliminating a few hundred positions. The company also plans to create new positions in different areas for around half those jobs, the source said.
According to a document seen by Reuters, Pfizer believes that doctors and other healthcare professionals will want around half of their interactions with drug companies to be remote in the future.
Pfizer’s revenue is expected to climb even higher this year and is projected to top $100 billion, according to analyst estimates.
Around half of the company’s 2022 sales are expected to come from the COVID-19 vaccine and its new oral COVID-19 treatment, Paxlovid.
The vaccine and Paxlovid are being sold directly to governments in the near term.