King axes 760 jobs after it loses patent fight

Following a recent federal court decision invalidating key patents on the muscle relaxant Skelaxin, King Pharmaceuticals today announced deep cuts in its corporate and sales staff. Altogether King says it is cutting 760 jobs, including 240 corporate positions associated with its acquisition of Alpharma. Another 380 sales jobs and 140 corporate jobs are also being axed by the Bristol, TN-based pharma company.

"Following the recent court decision relating to our Skelaxin (metaxalone) patents and the uncertainty that it creates with respect to the continued exclusivity of the product, we thoroughly assessed our cost structure," said CEO Brian Markison (photo). "We concluded the restructuring measures announced today will better position us to support the near-term priorities of our strategic plan." King announced several days ago that it would appeal the patent decision.

King estimates that it will incur a special charge of between $50 million and $55 million, all of which it expects in the first half of 2009. There were no immediate indications that the company is cutting back on its research work.

- check out the press release

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