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GSK lays off US workers

GlaxoSmithKline begins laying off workers at its US operations centre and at a manufacturing facility

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has begun laying off workers at its US operations centre and at a manufacturing facility.

GSK employs 5,000 people at its Research Triangle Park operations centre and another 1,000 at a manufacturing facility in North Carolina, but has not yet said how many workers will go.

The UK-headquartered company announced in October 2007 that it was planning an 'operational performance programme' to include redundancies globally in order to save USD 1.4bn in costs over the next three years.

Approximately 40 per cent of the cuts will be made in the manufacturing divisions, with another 40 per cent from sales and administration. Twenty per cent will be made from research and development.

The news is unexpected as GSK has had a rough ride this year, with slowing sales, imminent patent expiries and a drop in sales of 40 per cent for its blockbuster diabetes drug Avandia (roseglitazone) due to cardiac safety issues. Also, the company's best-selling drug, the asthma treatment Advair, has also been highlighted by the FDA as a potential safety hazard for use in children.

As a result, GSK's share price has fallen 10 per cent since the news about Avandia broke back in May 2007.

29th November 2007

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