KV Pharma lays off 42% of its workforce

KV Pharmaceutical, crippled by its inability to sell its own products, has cut its workforce by 289 employees, or about 42 percent. The company says the move will give it time to work its way through its remaining FDA troubles and put its drugs back on the market.

The company has said it expects to be able to resume product shipments during the fourth quarter--at the earliest. KV ran into trouble at an FDA inspection in 2008, and product recalls followed. The company had to stop making and shipping its drugs (but could continue selling meds made by other companies). Since then, KV has been working with FDA, which put the company under a consent decree; most recently the company agreed to shut down its generics subsidiary Ethex and pay more than $26 million in fines.

The layoffs are a stop-gap measure to help KV survive long enough to start selling its drugs again. "Although this type of action is always difficult, we believe it is a necessary step to preserve our capital resources and to re-size our company to be in line with our current expectations of when and how we will be able to return to market," interim CEO David Van Vliet says in a statement.

- get the release from KV