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AstraZeneca announces massive job cuts

By Tim Sandle     Mar 23, 2013 in Business
The pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca has announced two rounds of significant job cuts in an attempt to boots its profitability.
The first round of job cuts, announced on March 18, at the 'big pharma' company was the announcement to eliminate 1,600 R&D positions worldwide and will move many jobs to new facilities, as reported by U.S. News. Earlier this year, the company cut 2,200 R&D jobs.
The implications are that at the company’s center in Wilmington, Delaware, 650 positions will be eliminated, while another 550 will move elsewhere, including to the company’s facility in Gaithersburg, Maryland. Meanwhile, The facility at Alderley Park in the U.K. will no longer have R&D employees.
Three days later, on March 21, AstraZeneca announced 2,300 sales and administration job worldwide. According to the Guardian this took the total job losses at the drug company over the past 13 months to more than 11,000.
These various job losses have come at a time when the company is facing declining profits and competition from generic drugs. AstraZeneca is a British-Swedish multinational pharmaceutical and biologics company headquartered in London, United Kingdom. It is the world's fifth-largest pharmaceutical company measured by 2009 prescription drug sales. The company currently employs about 57,000 staff worldwide.
In justifying the actions, Pascal Soriot, the company’s CEO, said in a statement: "This is a major investment in the future of this company that will enable us to accelerate innovation by improving collaboration, reducing complexity, and speeding up decision-making."
The Daily Telegraph notes that the current restructuring will cost $1.4 billion now but should save the company $190 million annually when all the cuts go into effect.
In response to the news, trade unions at some locales, including the U.K. led by the Unite union, are considering industrial action, according to Fierce Biotech.
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