Pfizer is getting ready to announce a major overhaul of its development and sales operations which could lead to thousands more jobs being lost, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The newspaper says that Pfizer’s chief executive Jeffrey Kindler will outline his vision for the New York-based giant’s future to analysts next Monday and cites people close to the situation as saying that employees are bracing themselves for deep cutbacks across the group, more than Pfizer has previously announced.

The job losses will run into the thousands and the WSJ claims that the firm’s European sales force will be hard hit and “there will be facilities closures.” Manufacturing expenses will be cut dramatically and there is unlikely to be any increase in the firm’s R&D spend. Pfizer has not commented on the article.

Mr Kindler, who replaced Hank McKinnell as CEO in the summer of last year, has regularly warned of the need for Pfizer to change its business strategies, and in November announced that Pfizer was reducing its US sales force by about 20%, or around 2,200 jobs, to "match the organisation's business needs." A month earlier, the company had promised to undertake a comprehensive review of every aspect of its operations "with the goals of being more agile, effective and capable."

The nature of this review was likely affected by the abrupt termination of Pfizer’s high-density lipoprotein booster torcetrapib at the end of last year, news which wiped over $21 billion off the value of the firm and lead observers to muse about how the company was going to plug the gaping hole in its pipeline. A major acquisition was mentioned as a possibility but the forthcoming review suggests that spending billions more may not be on the agenda.