Yet another big drugmaker is contracting its workforce. This time, Abbott Laboratories is cutting about 1,900 positions - or 6 percent of its US workforce - following a series of pipeline setbacks and what the drugmaker called a "challenging regulatory environment," a reference to its inability to win FDA approval for various meds. The move is expected to save $200 million over the next few years (see statement).
Last week, for instance, Abbott disclosed plans to delay seeking FDA approval for a psoriasis med after receiving word from agency staffers about safety concerns. There was also a disappointment last month when the FDA issued a Complete Response Letter for the Certriad cholesterol pill, which would have combined its own TriLipix with AstraZeneca's Crestor. Development was then discontinued.
Meanwhile, Abbott reported that fourth-quarter earnings fell 6 percent thanks in part to costs of restructuring and integrating recent acquisitions. Abbott attributed the drop to costs related to a “restructuring of its US pharmaceutical business to streamline commercial and manufacturing operations.” Then there was the cost of integrating the Solvay Pharmaceuticals acquistion. .