Novartis has confirmed its second set of layoffs in as many weeks, and its fourth in less than a year, eliminating 250 U.S. positions—of which 204 are based at its U.S. Pharmaceuticals Division headquarters in East Hanover, N.J.
The pharma giant has filed a notice to the state Department of Labor and Workforce Development under the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act stating it plans to lay off 204 employees based at the East Hanover HQ by July 28.
In a statement to GEN and other news outlets, Novartis said it will shut down two lines, as well as data management and statistical programming operations, in a shift and consolidation of those functions from New Jersey to India.
“Last year, Novartis created the global drug development function to strengthen our ability to deliver breakthrough medicines for patients. As part of this integration, we will be consolidating our data operations organization to our global development site in Hyderabad, India, which allows us to improve efficiencies through increased harmonization and standardization,” the company stated.
“Regrettably, as a result, 250 positions in the United States (204 of which are in New Jersey) are expected to be impacted by this realignment.”
In addition to East Hanover, U.S. sites affected by the job cuts include Cambridge, MA, where 11 data management and statistical programming positions will be eliminated, The Boston Globe reported; as well as Princeton, NJ, and Fort Worth, TX.
According to Novartis’ website, the pharmaceutical development site in East Hanover houses functions that include technical R&D, drug regulatory affairs, Integrated Information sciences, informatics, drug safety & epidemiology, clinical & medical services, modeling & simulation, strategic sourcing, human resources, finance and operations.
Those operations serve all of the company’s global product franchises, including cardiovascular & metabolism, neuroscience & ophthalmics, immunology & infectious diseases, respiratory, and mature products.
Adding Manufacturing Jobs
Novartis added, however, that it plans to add about 40 manufacturing positions elsewhere in New Jersey—specifically the Morris Plains, NJ, facility that the company acquired from Dendreon in 2012.
“The United States continues to play a significantly large role in our business and we remain committed to our research, facilities and headquarters within New Jersey and several other locations in the United States,” Novartis’ statement continued.
Similarly, Novartis announced plans to hire 350 Swiss-based manufacturing jobs last week when it confirmed it would eliminate 500 jobs at its headquarters in Basel, Switzerland, over the next 18 months. Jobs to be eliminated include “traditional manufacturing, coordination, and development operations positions,” the company said in a statement, while the high-tech positions would consist of manufacturing and scientific jobs, “mostly in the areas of development and innovative biologics manufacturing.”
In August 2016, Novartis eliminated its Cell & Gene Therapies Unit by integrating its operations into the broader organization, affecting 120 positions. Two months later, the company said it was shutting down R&D units based in Schlieren, Switzerland, as well as Shanghai, and Singapore, in a cost-cutting restructuring that consolidated research into hubs based in Basel and Cambridge, MA.
Novartis has eliminated jobs based in East Hanover several times over the past five years—including 200 primary care sales force staffers in 2015, 94 in 2014, and 330 positions in 2012. The 2012 cuts were among 1,960 jobs nationwide eliminated by the company that year.