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Novo Nordisk: manufacturing jobs safe amid cost-cutting measures

Dan Stanton

By Dan Stanton+

03-Oct-2016
Last updated on 03-Oct-2016 at 11:38 GMT2016-10-03T11:38:58Z

Novo nordisk cutting 1,000 jobs in cost-saving measure. Image: iStock/evonyu
Novo nordisk cutting 1,000 jobs in cost-saving measure. Image: iStock/evonyu

The loss of 1,000 jobs is the latest cost-cutting initiative from Novo Nordisk but no manufacturing positions are at risk, the firm says.

Last week, the Danish drugmaker announced it was axing approximately 1,000 jobs, or 2.4% of its 42,300 global workforce.

Broken down, Novo Nordisk said the cuts would mostly affect positions across its R&D divisions and its headquarters in Bagsværd, but spokewoman Kristine Kruse Zeij confirmed to this publication that no manufacturing jobs would be lost.

The news is one of a number of actions taken to reduce operating costs ahead of what the firm predicts to be “a challenging competitive environment in 2017.”

The US market is especially deemed to be problematic following a loss of a sizeable contract for its fast-acting insulin NovoLog and NovoLog Mix and the loss of exclusivity for several hormone replacement therapies.

“We have implemented several cost saving initiatives in recent months, including a hiring freeze, travel restrictions, etc,” she said.

Meanwhile, Novo Nordisk has been spending heavily on its manufacturing network over the past eighteen months.

The firm has committed to a $225m production plant in Kalundborg , Denmark to support its haemophilia pipeline, a $175m insulin and obesity drug manufacturing plant in Hillerød - also in Denmark – and is investing €100m into an insulin plant in France .

The firm also announced in August 2015 it intended to pump $2bn into two new facilities intended to support its diabetes portfolio.

These investments have supported Novo Nordisk’s strategy to keep almost all its production in-house. Kruse Zeij did not comment when asked whether as a further cost-cutting initiative the firm would increase outsourcing and turn towards third-party manufacturers.

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