AZ job axe lands on MA manufacturing plant

AstraZeneca announced today plans to cut 113 jobs at its manufacturing plant for asthma drug Pulmicort in Westborough, MA. The cuts, which are to begin next month, were spurred by increasing market competition for Pulmicort, the company said. The FDA approved Apotex's generic version in March. "We have to be cognizant of what will be happening in the market and plan according to that,'' AstraZeneca spokeswoman Kate Klemas told the Boston Globe.

The drugmaker does plan to continue to increase its headcount at its Waltham, MA manufacturing facility, which has been expanded by 132,000 square feet over the last two years. In all, AZ employs roughly 1,000 between the two plants.

AstraZeneca said it would cut expenses back in January. The goal is 15,000 job cuts in four years. The drugmaker's plans are expected to save almost $3 billion a year by 2013, with the bulk of the savings being realized in 2010.

- more at the Boston Globe