Eisai - Top 10 pharma layoffs of 2011

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Company: Eisai
Based: Tokyo
Job cuts announced: 600 in the U.S. in 2011, 300 international
Date revealed: March 7
Themes: New generic competition + flat sales = "restructuring"

The scoop: In early March, Eisai made its move, announcing that it would cut 900 jobs by 2015 in the U.S., Japan and Europe in order to streamline and remain competitive. Within days, however, Eisai announced a rapidly sped-up timetable that made clear that its U.S. workforce would feel the most pain. As noted by Bloomberg and Reuters, 600 of those jobs were to be slashed from U.S. operations by April 1. Eisai planned to eliminate 200 European job slots and another 100 sales positions in Japan.

The stage was set in November 2010, when Eisai lost patent protection on Aricept, its top-selling treatment for Alzheimer's disease and the generator of 40% of sales until that point. Eisai predicted new generic drug competition would lead to flat sales over the coming years.