British drugmaker AstraZeneca Plc will cut 24 per cent of its workforce in the US in a bid to further cut its costs as it wards off increasing competition from generic rivals.
The London-based company is reducing its US sales force by 1,150. It has a workforce of 14,000 in North America, with most of those working in the US, and about 61,000 employees worldwide.
"These changes are driven by the need to effectively compete in a challenging environment," said AstraZeneca spokesman Tony Jewell.
The company said that it would take a restructuring charge of $50 million to $100 million in the current quarter resulting from the layoffs.
The cuts are in addition to 14,000 global job cuts announced in 2010 as part of a restructuring programme and the 6,000 job cuts already announced since 2007.
Today's layoffs announcement will be in addition to the 400 cuts made by AstraZeneca's US commercial business last month.