Big pharma continued to cut in 2010, closing plants and laying off staff in an attempt to cut costs and adjust post-merger. in-PharmaTechnologist presents a round up of five of the most read in 2010.
In its first financial report after acquiring Schering-Plough Merck & Co outlined plans to cut its workforce by 15 per cent by 2012. Merck initiated the layoffs and closures in an attempt to save up to $3bn (€2.3bn) a year by 2012.
In July, five months after initial details were published, a list of sites facing closure was released by Merck. The list included eight manufacturing facilities: four in Latin America; two in Europe; one in Singapore; and one in the US. A further eight R&D laboratories are also to close.
Pfizer also detailed its post-merger cutback plans in 2010. After acquiring Wyeth Pfizer had 78 manufacturing sites and is now working to offload some of these plants. In addition to the eight recommended site exits Pfizer also proposed to reduce operations at a further six facilities.
Roche outlined plans to cut 4,800 jobs and save $2.4bn in November. Full details of the cuts are yet to emerge but Roche said the pharma unit, including marketing and manufacturing, will be hit hardest.
Lonza joined big pharma in making cuts in 2010. Closure of the small molecule active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) plant in Riverside, Pennsylvania, US is part of Lonza’s cost-cutting programme.
Carla Baenziger, analyst from Swiss bank Vontobel, told Reuters: "The closure of Riverside shows that Lonza is feeling the first signs of the upcoming patent cliff in the small molecule market."