GSK plans further job cuts
This article was originally published in Scrip
GlaxoSmithKline is planning another round of job cuts, just a week after it announced the reduction of 1,000 sales force positions in the US (Scrip Online, November 6th, 2008). In the latest decision, the company is proposing to make 620 UK employees redundant following the closure of its manufacturing site in Dartford, Kent. The losses, which are subject to consultation, will take place over the next four years, resulting in the closure of the facility by 2013. GSK forecasts a substantial decline in revenues for the two largest products manufactured at the plant because of patent expiries. Patent protection for the epilepsy/bipolar disorder treatment Lamictal (lamotrigine) ended in July, while the patent for the herpes drug Valtrex (valaciclovir) expires next year. The two products accounted for 60% of total volumes manufactured at Dartford before the patent expiries. GSK said the current level of manufacturing activity was expected to fall to an unsustainable level. The production of newer products that were to be manufactured at Dartford will be transferred to other sites. GSK warned last week of further job losses as it continues to review the business to make it more efficient.