Gilead to lay off 20% of sales force after losing patent protection

Now that two of Gilead Science's lucrative, older drugs have lost patent protection, the drugmaker will lay off about 20 percent of its sales team, according to STAT.

The layoffs will affect 150 long-tenured salespeople in Gilead's cardiopulmonary division, which markets two drugs, Ranexa and Letairis, which recently lost patent exclusivity.

The decision is unfortunate but necessary to cut costs, Gilead said. The drugmaker already warned investors that sales generated by the two drugs would fall as generics enter the market.

The layoffs are effective July 1.

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