Yet another drugmaker is eliminating therapeutic areas in which R&D is conducted from 14 to 6 areas - oncology, inflamation, neuroscience, vaccines, metabolic disorders and musculoskeletal disorders, a Wyeth spokesman says. Women's health, for example, is being cut. And the number of diseases that Wyeth will attempt to eradicate will dwindle from 55 to 27.
Called Project Impact, the plan is designed to make early-stage research more efficient and will be 'cost neutral,' he adds. About 80 positions will be eliminated, but scientists will have an opportunity to move about. The effort also comes as the approval process before the FDA grows increasingly challenging; Wyeth, in particular, has experienced several setbacks in getting drugs approved.
This is only the latest example in which big pharma is scaling back R&D one way or another. In an effort to cut costs, Pfizer recently disclosed plans to eliminate research into several therapeutic areas and Merck is consolidating research facilities.