Scientific evidence of the impact of layoffs: increased pharma sales

News of recent downsizings at Pfizer and AstraZeneca has brought on the usual knot in the stomach.  And I don't even work there. At the same time, talk about a merger between Sanofi Aventis and BMS make me wonder what will happen to some of BMS' staffers. But researchers at the University College, London recently published an article in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health that provides concrete evidence of the impact that  massive layoffs have on the mental health, both of those laid off and of their colleagues who remain.  Here's a summary of the article's findings on MedicineNet.com (Perversely, both groups wind up increasing the industry's sales of anti-depressants, anti-anxiety drugs and sleeping pills). Wish all soon-to-be ex-Pfizerites and AstraZeneca employees a quick transition to better things.  (And hope the BMS-Sanofi merger, if it takes place, happens with a minimum of all this )  The real long-term costs vs. benefits of pharma mergers is a subject that begs to be explored in depth. And that includes M&A's  "human capital" costs.  Three cheers for New York Times economics writer Louis Uchitelle for looking into the "human side" of restructurings.  His book may be called "The Disposable American" but it applies just as easily to any nation in the world (Note this abstract on disturbing results of multigenerational study in Canada). -AMS