Ireland-based Warner Chilcott is to axe 500 European jobs as it deals with the fallout from the patent expiry of its osteoporosis drug, Actonel.
The company said the cuts would affect operations in Belgium the Netherlands, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Switzerland and the UK, with the ‘restructuring’ process set for completion by 2012.
Manufacturing facilities in Ireland and Weiterstadt in Germany, along with the company’s commercial operations in the UK, will remain unaffected.
Hans van Zoonen, president of European, international and global marketing for Warner Chilcott said: “We have conducted a strategic review of our European operations in the context of the recent loss of exclusivity of Actonel in western Europe.
“The restructuring initiative will allow us to focus on growth opportunities that match Warner Chilcott’s key competitive strengths. We believe this is the appropriate course of action for the company and in the best interests of shareholders,” he added.
Actonel accounted for approximately 70 per cent of Warner Chilcott’s western European revenues in late 2010, meaning the company will inevitably find the loss of exclusivity financially painful in the short term.
In addition, the expected cost of the restructuring process, factoring in employee severance pay and one-off charges, is expected to reach approximately $130m (€90m) by 2012.
However, Warner Chilcott is hopeful future sales of its new osteoporosis treatment, Atlevia, and contraceptive, Loestrin, will help cushion the blow from the loss of Actonel. The company is preparing to launch the drugs in the US later this year.
Elsewhere, Warner Chilcott announced it expected to record further charges of $33m in the quarter ending March 31, as it repurposes its Manati, Puerto Rico manufacturing facility. Approximately $26m will result from the write-down of equipment and property, and $7m from employee severance charges.
Once work is complete, the company intends to use the site as a warehouse and distribution centre.