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Pharma Downsizing

August 16, 2010 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 88, Issue 33

Recently I’ve noticed a glaring lack of letters in C&EN concerning what is going on in the pharma industry regarding “downsizing.”

Do people have their heads in the sand or what? Chemistry jobs are being shipped out of the U.S. on a daily basis, and the chemists who are being laid off have no future in front of them to return to a research position. Many have to suffer the humiliation of training their Asian counterparts while still on the job knowing full well what’s about to happen to them.

What is the role of the ACS in all of this? After reading the society’s policy statements, it seems to be that ACS is a bit remiss in fulfilling some of those mission statements. ACS should put pressure wherever it can because the society is going to see a dwindling of registered ACS chemists in the near future.

First, no one is going to pursue a career in the U.S. when there is no pharmaceutical industry to hire them—unless they speak Mandarin. Second, the people who are being pushed out of the lab cannot get another job now because there are none. So why would they renew their dues if they are not chemists anymore? This is a sad situation and will not get any better. Something must be done.

Pete Borromeo
Fishers, Ind.


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