King Pharma to ax 22% of workforce

King Pharmaceuticals is the latest drugmaker to join the layoff club. The Bristol, Tenn.-based company is announcing a restructuring plan that will cut 22 percent of its workforce, including about one-third of its sales reps. The moves come in the wake of a court ruling overturning the patent on King's muscle relaxant Skelaxin. Though King plans to appeal, CEO Brian Markison said the "uncertainty" of the outcome prompted the cost-cutting measures.

Some of the cuts--about 240 jobs at corporate, for example--are designed to trim overlap created when King bought Alpharma. Another 520 or so of the layoffs are cost-cutting moves; 380 are field sales jobs and another 140 are corporate/admin jobs. After the dust settles, King will be left with a field sales force of about 720.

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