Novartis to cut 1,400 jobs in the US

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Swiss pharmaceutical giant Novartis said Tuesday that it is cutting 1,400 jobs in the United States as it restructures its general medicines field team in the face of expiring patents.

"Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation (NPC) announced today that it is restructuring its General Medicines field force in the US to reflect changes in the product portfolio and align resources with strategic growth priorities," the group said in a statement.

"The company will reduce its General Medicines field force by approximately 1,400 positions. These changes will be effective January 1, 2011," it added.

Novartis said its product portfolio was changing "due to pending patent expirations and pipeline products" and that it was therefore necessary to realign its business.

The group said the restructuring will result in a one-time cost of about 85 million dollars.

The move by the Swiss-headquartered group came after rival Swiss drugmaker Roche announced that it was shedding 4,800 jobs worldwide as part of a cost-cutting programme.

© 2010 AFP

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