GlaxoSmithKline

Based: Brentford, U.K.
Announced layoffs: 1,077

Big Pharma companies know just how big an impact a patent cliff can make when it comes to layoffs. Luckily for GlaxoSmithKline ($GSK) workers, that cliff has been delayed for aged respiratory behemoth Advair, thanks to the med's hard-to-copy inhaler technology. But the British drugmaker knew the sales decline would start eventually, and as of 2014, it's here.

As a result, CEO Andrew Witty announced in late October that the company would be cutting $1.6 billion in expenses in the three years to come. And then in December, the job-chopping ax took a swing at North Carolina, where Glaxo has a respiratory hub in Research Triangle Park.

The layoff news came in the form of a WARN letter that said 900 jobs would go, with 350 of the positions tagged for elimination in the first quarter of 2015, another 450 following in the next three months, and the rest later in the year.

Chemists, engineers, biologists, clinical development scientists, statisticians and more would be affected, Glaxo said. But not all those involved would be terminated: An uncertain number are set for relocation to other company facilities, and as many as 450 are up for jobs with a supplier.

The pain won't be confined to North Carolina, either. Some Philadelphia staffers and others scattered across the U.S. would get hit, Glaxo said, and that process has already begun: In March, the company filed a WARN notice in Pennsylvania indicating that it would scrap 150 jobs across its commercial and R&D businesses in the Philadelphia area.

And as Glaxo folds in the vaccines business it recently acquired from Novartis ($NVS), more reductions could be on the way. The company has already come forward with plans to dismiss 27 vaccine researchers in Montana as it closes the R&D branch of its vaccines lab in Hamilton, a move it announced this February.

-- Carly Helfand (email | Twitter)

For more:
GlaxoSmithKline tags 180 sales-and-admin jobs for cutting in NC
GSK lays off 27 vaccine researchers in Montana
GlaxoSmithKline rips into RTP R&D group, chopping 900-plus jobs in global reorganization

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