Page last updated at 17:48 GMT, Sunday, 1 February 2009

Glaxo 'to cut thousands of jobs'

GlaxoSmithKline headquarters
Glaxo is suffering from increased competition from cheaper drugs

Drugs giant GlaxoSmithKline is set to announce thousands of job cuts as it faces increasing competition from generic drug makers, reports suggest.

More than 6,000 jobs are set to go according to reports in the Observer, The Sunday Times and The Telegraph.

A spokesman for the company could not confirm or deny the reports, saying simply that Glaxo "was in the middle of a restructuring programme".

Some of the cuts will be made from the UK workforce, the reports say.

The company employs around 100,000 people across the world, including 18,000 in the UK.

The company is suffering from increased competition from cheaper, generic drugs as patent protection runs out on a number of its household drugs.


The "restructuring programme", designed to cut costs and boost profits, was announced in October 2007.

At the end of 2008, Glaxo announced around 800 job cuts in the UK.

This included 200 at its factory in County Durham, and more than 600 as a result of the closure of its factory in Kent in 2013.

The company has manufacturing operations across the UK, including sites at Ware, Maidenhead and Worthing.

Last week, rival AstraZeneca said it would cut an additional 6,000 jobs on top of thousands of cuts already announced.

Glaxo reports its annual results on Thursday of next week.

Job cuts

These job cuts would be the latest in a long line of recently announced lay-offs as UK companies struggle in the recession.

On Saturday, a CBI survey showed that small and medium-sized manufacturers in the UK are laying off workers at a faster rate than at any time since the early 1990s.

In total, 38% of UK firms surveyed cut jobs during the final quarter of 2008.

The latest unemployment figures show that there were 1.92 million people unemployed in the UK between September and November last year, the highest level since September 1997.

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