AstraZeneca will cut 8,000 more jobs by 2014 with R&D and supply chain operations being the main focus of the cutbacks.
The move, detailed in AstraZeneca’s 2009 results presentation , is designed to save around £1.2bn (€1.4bn) and is a continuation of the restructuring programme that has seen the UK drug major shed 12,600 jobs between 2007 and 2009.
Approximately 3,500 R&D jobs will go as part of AstraZeneca's plan to outsourcing more drug development with CROs in China, Europe and the US being the most likely beneficiaries of the additional work.
CEO David Brennan told the AFP that 2010 is going to be a challenging year for the firm, but maintained that the cuts are not only about cost reduction.
Most observers suggest that the move is designed to reduce the impact of impending generic competition for key drugs such as Pulmicort and Arimidex, both of which lose US patent protection this year.