Pfizer ($PFE) plots more post-merger job cuts

Carving out 19,500 jobs apparently wasn't enough for Pfizer ($PFE). The company disclosed to financial regulators that it would "exceed our original 15% workforce reduction target" as it integrates Wyeth into its global operations. No word on how many additional jobs might be eliminated, or where. "At this point, it's too early to determine the extent to which we will exceed this target," Pfizer spokeswoman Joan Campion tells Dow Jones.

The news service reports that Pfizer has already cut its workforce by some 14 percent, or 18,000 jobs, with 9,200 of those jobs axed since Pfizer's $68 billion buyout of Wyeth closed in October 2009. Those cutbacks were focused in primary-care sales, manufacturing, R&D and corporate operations.

Pfizer's job-elimination program is part of an industrywide sweep as drugmakers gird themselves for the expiration of some $92 billion worth of patents over the next several years. And Pfizer isn't the only one in Big Pharma to extend previously announced workforce cuts. AstraZeneca ($AZN) just said last week that its job cuts would be ongoing. And early this year, GlaxoSmithKline ($GSK) announced a new wave of layoffs on top of the 2,000 sales cuts in 2009.

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