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Job fears despite Glaxo profit rise


The threat of further job cuts has overshadowed GlaxoSmithKline’s announcement that first quarter revenues rose to £7.4 billion following the tail end of the swine flu pandemic.

Sales of the drug giant’s vaccine helped overall sales over the first three months of the year surge 13% to drive profits up 16% to £2.2 billion.

However, the expected slump in vaccine sales brought about by the downgrading of the threat posed by H1N1 coupled with the rise in prominence of generic drugs has prompted the firm to roll out a series of cost-cutting measures that will save them some £1.5 billion by the end of the year.

This year’s cutbacks are part of a wider plan to shave £2.2 billion off the company by 2012 to compensate for an increasingly competitive market.

Job cuts in the firms’ research and development programmes, particularly those developing new therapies for depression and pain treatment, would make up a portion of these savings, sparking fears that as many as 4,000 jobs could go on top of the previous reductions.

The pharmaceutical giant said job losses in the UK would be in the “hundreds, not thousands” as it prepares for a tough 2010.

Copyright Press Association 2010

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