AstraZeneca Plans Job Cuts in US Commercial Business

AstraZeneca has announced that it will eliminate 700 positions across its US commercial business, including the company’s North American commercial headquarters, as part of its ongoing restructuring. The impacted positions include some field-based sales, field-based non-sales roles, and roughly 80 positions from existing vacancies and will further include a reduction in discretionary spend. 

“…[T]hese changes reflect the ongoing focus to further streamline and drive greater efficiency across the entire organization” said AstraZeneca in a company statement. “We continue to face loss of exclusivity impacts from many of our legacy products and work to compete in an ever-changing external environment. By diligently prioritizing, we will continue to successfully launch and commercialize new medicines, meet the needs of our customers and patients, and ultimately help AstraZeneca return to growth.”

The company had stated in its first quarter 2016 results that it will focus on further streamlining its operations, primarily in commercial and manufacturing, in 2016 and 2017. Once implemented by the end of 2017, these changes are expected to generate $1.1 billion in annual cost-savings, according to AstraZeneca in its first-quarter 2016 report.

The company has been facing generic competition for its blockbuster drugs, Crestor (rosuvastatin calcium), an anti-cholesterol drug, and Nexium (esomeprazole magnesium), a drug for treating acid reflux, leading to declines in product sales. Year-to-date (YTD) sales of Nexium as of November 10, 2016 declined by 19% to $1.54 billion, with US sales seeing a 42% drop to $419 million YTD, reflecting lower demand and inventory destocking, which followed the loss of exclusivity in 2015, AstraZeneca reported in its YTD and third quarter 2016 results. Crestor YTD sales as of November 10, 2016 declined by 24% to $2.78 billion, with US sales seeing a 45% drop to $1.13 billion due to generic penetration in the US market since May 2016, AstraZeneca said in its YTD and third quarter 2016 report.

Source: AstraZeneca

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