EMCC European Monitoring Centre on Change



Geographic Location

Country: World
Location of affected unit(s): Worldwide, including UK and Sweden


Sector: Manufacturing
Manufacture of pharmaceuticals, medicinal chemical and botanical products
21 - Manufacture of basic pharmaceutical products and pharmaceutical preparations
Number Employed: 61000

Employment Effects

Announcement Date: 02-02-2012
Planned Job Reductions min: 7300
Planned Job Reductions max: 7300
Type of Restructuring: Internal restructuring
Employment Effect Start: 02-02-2012
Foreseen End Date: 01-01-2014

Additional Information

Anglo-Swedish pharmaceuticals firm AstraZeneca plans to cut 7,300 jobs worldwide as part of a new restructuring plan.

This is the third restructuring programme carried out by AstraZeneca since 2007 (see factsheets on global restructuring in 2010; restructuring in the UK; and restructuring in Belgium).

The firm estimates that 3,750 of the job losses will occur in its sales, general and administrative division. The number of sales and marketing regions has been reduced from five to three, and smaller countries will be clustered together for the purposes of commercial organisation. Increased use of call centres and digital channels for customer communications will provide further savings in this area.

In research and development - a division currently employing around 15,700 people - roughly 2,200 jobs will be cut. This is in part the consequence of an approach under which smaller AstraZeneca teams will collaborate with external partners, to increase flexibility.

The remaining 1,350 job losses will come from the firm's operations function, with a focus on support functions.

The UK's GMB Union has reported that 250 to 300 research and development jobs will be lost at one site in Cheshire, while further back office cuts will affect other UK locations. In Sweden, the workforce in Södertälje will be reduced by between 1100 and 1200 workers due to the closure of research facilities.

Increased competition and the expiry of patents on key AstraZeneca products have contributed to the need for cuts, according to the company.