It was largely a rehash of all the same old Powerpoint slides — save one (click to enlarge):
From his transcribed remarks (a PDF file), on this slide, then:
. . . .We’ve significantly decreased our field force in the US and in the European Union while, at the same time, rethinking what our sales representatives need to be doing for their customers.
At the same time, as you can see from this chart, we have sharply increased our investments in the emerging markets, especially in China where we’ve increased the size of our sales force 60% over the past few years. . . .
While the above looks backward, it certainly confirms what so many ex-Merckies felt most acutely, at Christmas this year: Merck was the “job cutting-est” major pharma, in 2011. This (touting the “savings” from job-cuts), coupled with this morning’s off-the-cuff suggestion of looking to “buy” Hep C franchise leadership, could be some significant cause for concern.
As a general rule, very large multinational pharma concerns can neither “buy“, nor “save” their way to long-term, sustainable greatness. No. . . they must invent it.