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GSK to axe 620 jobs in Kent

GlaxoSmithKline, the worl's second largest pharmaceutical company proposes to close its manufacturing site in Dartford, Kent with the loss of 620 jobs

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), the world's second largest pharmaceutical company proposes to close its manufacturing site in Dartford, Kent with the loss of 620 jobs.

GSK has announced plans to close its premises, which have been on the site for 120 years, by 2013. The proposed closure is part of an ongoing review and is subject to consultation with trade union and staff representatives.

Two drugs currently produced at the Kent factory, Lamictal used to control epilepsy and bipolar disorder and Valtrex for herpes are due to face generic competition shortly as their patents expire.

The company said that it does not expect the current levels of manufacturing activity at Dartford to be replaced by the same volume of new business and proposes to transfer the production of new medicines to its other sites from 2009.

Joe Foley, Dartford site director said, "GSK regrets the impacts this proposal would have on employees and the local community, with whom we have built strong links over many years. As always, we will treat employees fairly and will provide appropriate support to help our staff through this difficult period. The proposal is no reflection on the professionalism and commitment of Dartford employees, but that of the fiercely competitive environment in which the pharmaceutical industry operates."

Last week PMLiVE reported that GSK plans to cut around 1000 sales jobs in the US, with generic competition being a key cause of these reductions.

In October, the company announced the loss of 850 research and development jobs across the UK and US. This was in addition to 350 UK R&D jobs already cut by the company.

11th November 2008

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