AstraZenca discontinues services of certain sales representatives, as priorities evolve 

AstraZeneca Pharma India Ltd has discontinued the services of some of its sales promotion representatives, a result of the company’s “evolving” strategic priorities.

The services of about 51 “professional sales representatives” affiliated to the primary care business unit were terminated, as of last week, following the company’s strategy to step-up its digital and data efforts, an industry source said, though the number was not independently clarified by the company. 

Demonstrations against the termination have been held in multiple cities on March 10, the day from which services were to be terminated, said a representative with the Federation of Medical and Sales Representatives Associations of India (FMRAI). The Delhi Sales and Medical Representatives Organisation is scheduled to hold a protest on March 15.

Evolving priorities

In its response, an AZ India spokesperson told businessline, as part of the company’s journey to further its aspirations, “we are evolving our strategic priorities to impact the patient journey, accelerate our science and increase access to healthcare.”

Confirming the development, the spokesperson added, “The decision is impacting a few roles and was not an easy one to make. We are ensuring that the transition is smooth and contributions made by our employees over time are appropriately reflected in the separation scheme.”

FMRAI representatives said the termination of services of the promotional employees was “illegal”, as there was an ongoing conciliation issue at the Karnataka Labour commissioner’s office.

While AZ did not outline its strategies that were impacting jobs, it said, “Our aspiration is to improve people’s health by moving from prevention and treatment to one day curing disease as we deliver novel therapies and increase our focus on specialist care where we believe we can make the most meaningful difference- cancer, other  chronic and rare diseases.”

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