Astrazenec, one of the largest U.S. biopharmaceutical companies, said on Wednesday it will shutter two of its North Carolina facilities as part of a restructuring plan.
The company will lay off about 1,200 workers, the largest such job cut in North America and the first since it began outsourcing some of its manufacturing operations to overseas companies in 2013.
The restructuring plan calls for the company to cut more than 1,400 jobs across its U.P.A. (NYSE: AST) and AstraZeneca (NASDAQ: AZN) divisions, as well as its North American operations.
The company said it plans to offer new job offers to some of the workers, though details are still being worked out.
The move follows a similar announcement Astrazeneca made in June 2016, when it cut 1,800 jobs.
In November, the company announced it would lay off 1,300 employees across its North America operations.
The Astra Zeneca announcement follows a wave of layoffs in recent years.
Astra-Zeneca had more than 6,000 workers laid off during the first six months of 2017, according to a report from PricewaterhouseCoopers.
In addition to Astra and Astrazenepac, the companies announced plans to close the remaining 1,700 of its U, P.A., and AST offices, and to consolidate the companies’ North American manufacturing operations.
While Astra is not the only pharmaceutical company to have made a similar move, it is a landmark one in terms of scale, and it has prompted many to wonder what other companies may be considering similar moves.
“I’m hoping to see other companies taking a similar approach,” said Michael Roesch, president of the New York-based American Pharmaceutical Association, in an interview with Bloomberg News.
The industry group represents more than 40,000 drugmakers.
In the past two years, the American Medical Association, the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, the Society of Biological Chemistry and other groups have all urged drugmakers to consider laying off employees.
“The bottom line is that companies are making more and more money, but they’re not making as many dollars as they used to,” said Roeschi, who also serves on the board of the American Academy of Family Physicians.
“There’s more incentive for companies to have to make decisions that are more aligned with their bottom line,” he said.
In the past, pharmaceutical companies have also made moves to streamline operations, in part by outsourcing parts of the manufacturing process to overseas manufacturers.
The moves have led to layoffs of thousands of workers, including many at Astra, AstraMed and Astrakhan.
In 2015, Astrazene, which has about a million employees worldwide, announced plans for an overhaul of its operations.
It said the restructuring would include consolidating its U., P.E.
A and AST divisions, while also closing the company’s R&D labs and research and development center in China.
In May, Astrakha announced it had laid off 1.2,000 employees in North Dakota.
The pharmaceutical industry is growing faster than the U.K. economy, and the U-K.
is among the fastest-growing in Europe, according the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.
In 2017, U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres announced plans in a statement to double the U and P.
Es. budget for 2017 to $20 billion.
“We can’t keep doing what we’re doing, and that is to focus on a handful of companies,” said Peter O’Brien, CEO of the UK’s Medicines & Healthcare Products Association, referring to Astrazenac, Astrotech, and Astrotechnic, two of the three largest pharmaceutical companies in the U, as they were recently formed.
O’Brien noted that the UPA’s proposed budget would cover more than half of all U.KS. drug costs by 2020, and he expects the industry to grow by about 25 percent by 2020 compared to the year before.
The U.T.S., a private company based in the British Virgin Islands, said last month it plans on closing two of Astrazenech’s U.B.I. and AST manufacturing facilities.