Reporting a $10.8 billion in annual pre-tax profits, Pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca is wielding the axe on 8,000 more jobs over the next four years to cut on costs as it expects competition from generic drug makers to a few of its leading drugs whose exclusive patent are soon to expire.
The Anglo-Swedish UK-based drug maker is planning to cut 8,000 jobs from its global workforce of 65,000, which will come on top of the 6,000 announced in January and 6,600 already announced since 2007.
With the new round of job cuts, AstraZeneca said that the restructuring cost to around $2 billion and hoped to bring in annual savings of $1.8 billion over the next four years.
"The next five years will be challenging for the industry and for the company, as its revenue base transitions through a period of exclusivity losses and new product launches," Astra said in a statement.
AstraZeneca, the UK's second biggest drug maker by sales after GlaxoSmithKline, is expecting to lose sales and revenue, when the exclusive patent for breast cancer treatment drug Arimidex, Pulmicort Respules, used to treat asthma and heartburn drug Nexium will soon expire in the near future.
Nexium is the drug maker's top-selling drug and the world's third-best-selling drug by revenue, which had net sales of $7.84 billion in 2008, according to health data firm IMS Health.