The Associated Press reports that Pfizer Inc. plans to lay off nearly a third of its 8,000 salespeople. Company spokespeople declined to comment on a Wall Street Journal report that Pfizer plans to cut as many as 2,400 sales representatives. Last week Pfizer confirmed it is cutting the jobs of up to 800 scientists and other research staff around the world. If the rumors are true, the latest sales division cuts would follow elimination of roughly 2,000 sales jobs under a massive restructuring that began two years ago and resulted in about 14,600 jobs being slashed. Pfizer has been working to lower costs ahead of generic competition expected in late 2011 for its blockbuster cholesterol drug Lipitor, which brings in nearly $13 billion a year. Competition is likely to cut sales drastically. The company is expected to make an official announcement about layoffs when it reports on its 2008 fourth-quarter and full-year financial results, on January 28.