Teva To Axe 1,500 Jobs, Mostly From Cephalon

Teva To Axe 1,500 Jobs, Mostly From Cephalon

November 9th, 2011 // 1:40 pm @

Now that its $6.8 billion purchase of Cephalon has been completed, Teva Pharmaceuticals is planning to eliminate about 1,500 jobs, mostly from the ranks of the biotech, according to Yediot Aharanot. Such a move is hardly surprising, since acquisitions generally result in layoffs and Teva had already signaled that some $500 million in savings was already targeted.

As of December 2010, Cephalon employed about 3,700 people, mostly in the US, which means that Teva will be laying off about 40 percent of the Cephalon workforce. Most of the jobs being eliminated are reportedly Cephalon employees who work in overlapping units. As an example, the paper cites Mepha, a Cephalon generic division located in Switzerland. We asked a Teva spokesperson for comment and will update you accordingly. [UPDATE: At 2 pm ET, a Teva spokeswoman writes us that downsizing will occur in both companies, but “at this point, we can not comment on the number of employees or the fields in which changes will take place.”]

Not surprisingly, most Cephalon employees who survive the cuts are expected to be those who are involved in branded meds, although this group has been under a cloud recently. All four major medicines that Cephalon actively markets – Nuvigil, Provigil, Treanda and Fentora – are currently under investigation by various US government agencies .

The cuts, by the way, continue a recent string in which large drugmakers are shedding large numbers of employees. The list includes Novartis, Sanofi, Merck, AstraZeneca and Amgen .
Despite the late-year surge of layoffs, headcount reductions have, overall, slowed compared with the pace of the past few years, according to Challenger Gray & Christmas, the outplacement consultants that track monthly changes in each industry.


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