The inevitable finally occurred at Amgen. Plagued by falling sales of its blockbuster anemia drugs, Amgen says it will slash about 14 percent of its workforce as part of a widespread restructuring aimed at slicing out a billion dollars in expenses. That will eliminate up to 2,600 jobs at Ventura County's biggest employer, which for years built up an impressive record of massive growth and ever-rising income. Amgen avoided getting into the messy details, but the restructuring will include the shuttering of some facilities and reductions in various operating units. Analysts generally applauded the move, which had been widely anticipated in recent days.
"The initiatives announced today respond to [our] new reality by taking account of reduced revenues and appropriately lowering costs across the company," said CEO Kevin Sharer. "We will continue to strongly support our research efforts directed at development of new medicines for grievously ill patients."
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