Bayer - Top 10 pharma layoffs of 2011

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Company: Bayer
Based: Leverkusen, Germany
Job cuts announced: at least 540
Date revealed: May 27
Theme: Market "flexibility"

The scoop: It won't be a happy new year for 540 employees of Bayer HealthCare in Emeryville, CA. Their jobs will be phased out beginning in 2012. Why? Because the company is winding down production there of its blockbuster multiple sclerosis drug Betaseron, shifting it to Germany and eventually contracting it out to Boehringer Ingelheim, the Contra Costa Times and San Francisco Business Times reported, among others.

Bayer tried to paint a positive picture about all of this, noting, for example, that the action will help it gain more market flexibility. Another consolation prize: its Berkeley, CA, manufacturing facility is getting a $100 million upgrade so it can produce Bayer's new hemophilia treatment, and uprooted Emeryville employees can apply for positions there. However, we note that Bayer made FiercePharma's 2010 top 10 layoffs list, because the company announced that it would eliminate 4,500 jobs in part, so it can focus on emerging markets, where it will create as many as 2,500 new positions.