“As part of these changes we have made the necessary, but difficult decisions that are required to reflect our lower US revenues in 2017. We will reduce US Commercial Business expenses, which includes the elimination of approximately 700 positions (roughly 80 of those will come from existing vacancies) and a reduction in discretionary spend.,” a spokesperson for the company stated. “The impacted positions are across the US organization, including the company’s North America Commercial headquarters, and some field-based sales and field-based non-sales roles.”
According to the company, total employment in Delaware, after the cutbacks, will total 1,500. U.S. Rep and Gov.-elect John Carney said job cuts amount to about 120.
Previous estimates put AstraZeneca’s Delaware workforce at 2,000. However, a spokesperson for the company said comparisons with those numbers did not apply since previous staffing totals included contract workers, manufacturing workers and others.
Cuts had been expected after the company announced plans for a restructuring earlier in the year, while reaffirming that its commercial headquarters will remain in Delaware.
AstraZeneca also announced it was exploring options for office space and put its Fairfax complex on the sales market. No decision on office space has been announced and the company did not rule out staying put.
“While these decisions are in the best interest of our future, this is a difficult time for our entire US organization, particularly for the people who are directly impacted. We will continue our commitment to treat all of our employees with respect and minimize disruption,” the statement concluded.
AstraZenea employment peaked at around 5,000 at one point, but has steadily declined as the company’s blockbuster drugs lost patent protection.
While Delaware remains the North American commercial headquarters of the company, research and development work left the state and laboratories were razed.