Updated from 1:25 p.m. EST
plans to cut thousands of positions, according to reports in two newspapers.
said GlaxoSmithKline would cut up to 6,000 jobs. The
gave a larger figure at 10,000.
The Associated Press
, a GlaxoSmithKline representative said the company was undergoing restructuring but declined to comment on specifics. The company recently announced that
executive Deirdre Connelly would become Glaxo's president of North American pharmaceuticals division in early February.
Compounding the effects of a worsening economy for large drug makers like Glaxo is the impending onslaught of generic versions of cash-cow drugs.
said it would cut 15,000 by 2013, and
, which recently entered a
for $68 billion, also has announced plans to substantially reduce its workforce. Rival
TICKER TYPE="EQUITY" SYMBOL="SNE" EXCHANGE="NYSE" PRIMARY="NO"/> also is reportedly preparing to make acquisitions, according to the
Few in the drug industry seem immune to the bugs that have taken hold of an economy that's left the sector ripe for consolidation and deal-making. On Friday, Swiss pharmaceutical company
recently announced a
to make and market copies of biotech drugs, otherwise known as biosimilar drugs. Biosimilars are, naturally, a threat to biotech companies like Genentech,
.Glaxo shares were down 0.4% to $35.11, not far from the stock's 52-week high of $35.24.