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