Teva Pharmaceutical Industries - Top 10 pharma layoffs of 2011

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Company: Teva Pharmaceutical Industries ($TEVA)
Based: Israel
Job cuts announced: 200 (Rumored additional cuts: 1,000-1,500)
Dates revealed: January, November (unconfirmed)
Themes: Plant slow-down, merger-related cost savings

The scoop: Teva Pharmaceutical Industries began 2011 slashing just under 200 jobs at a California plant idled after the FDA discovered manufacturing violations concerning the anesthetic drug propofol. As the year drew to a close, the Israeli company was rumored to be axing as many as 1,500 additional slots in Europe and the U.S.

Why such drastic job cuts?

One reason, as the Globes news service said in November, is that Teva wants $500 million in synergies from its $6.2 billion merger with Cephalon that concluded in October. Layoffs will help Teva reach that goal, particularly at Cephalon's generics business, Globes noted. Cephalon is also vulnerable to cuts through its 2010 acquisition of the Swiss generics maker Mepha, which employed 620 people before being acquired. A U.S. spokeswoman downplayed the 1,500 job-cut rumor, telling Daily Local that it was too early to know for sure how the merger would affect overall employment.