AstraZeneca swings axe at Swedish plant

pharmafile | June 14, 2012 | News story | Sales and Marketing AstraZeneca, Brennan, Sweden, Södertälje, cuts 

AstraZeneca will be cutting 400 jobs from its facility in Sweden, the company has confirmed. 

Speaking to the TT news agency, Ann-Leena Mikiver, an AstraZeneca spokeswoman, said: “Those who are affected in this cut are economists, lawyers, the personnel department, IT technicians, lab technicians and those types of broad competencies.

“The first 50 left two weeks ago. Some will leave during the summer and others early this autumn and the whole move should be completed in December.”

AstraZeneca said it was looking to support its staff who are losing their jobs, and have planned labour market days where 100 companies have been invited to meet affected staff.  

The company has also hosted ‘start-up’ days, and offering coaching and seminars for those who are choosing to embark on a new course in life, it said.

The Anglo-Swedish firm said in February that it was cutting 7,300 more jobs over the next three years – this is in addition to the 21,000 it has already axed in recent years.

Around half of the cuts will hit sales and administration, with the other half divided between R&D (2,200) and operations (1,350). AstraZeneca is looking to save $1.6 billion off its annual costs by making these cuts.

All big pharma firms have been swinging the axe in recent years as big blockbuster drugs lose their patents, but AZ has taken more pain than most. The firm is seeing its big products succumb to generic erosion, but has little in the pipeline to offset this loss.

This led to investors becoming frustrated with the firm, and in April David Brennan was ousted from his job as chief executive.

The firm’s new chairman, Leif Johansson, is now looking for a new leader for the firm, and hopes that there will be fewer cuts, and more R&D successes.

Ben Adams

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