Swiss pharmaceutical giant Novartis announced Friday that due to tough conditions it will cut nearly 2,000 US jobs leading to additional total charges of $1.2 billion (935 million euros).
The loss of the patent for hypertension drug Diovan and its failure to capitalise on the Rasilez treatment triggered the cut in its workforce two months after it previously announced a reduction of 2,000 positions.
The measures include an exceptional charge of $160 million in the first quarter of 2012, $900 million for Rasilez and a futher $160 million dollars due to the termination of programmes on the drugs elinogrel and calcitonin.
"We recognize that the next two years will be challenging in the pharmaceuticals division and we are proactively making these changes," David Epstein, division head of Novartis Pharmaceuticals, said in a statement.
The workforce should "be reduced by approximately 1,630 positions," and consequently about 330 management positions will also be lost.
These measures will effect in the second quarter of 2012 and should produce savings of $450 million from next year.
"These are difficult but necessary decisions that will free up resources to invest in the future of our business," Epstein said.
Novartis, which employs 121,000 people worldwide, first announced in October it would eliminate 2,000 jobs mainly in Switzerland and the United States.