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BASEL, Switzerland (


) --


, the Swiss drugmaker, said Wednesday it plans to reduce its work force by 4,800 positions, or 6%, over the next two years as it aims for annual cost savings of 2.4 billion Swiss francs ($2.41 billion).

Roche said the cuts are scheduled for 2011 and 2012.

The largest job cuts are planned in sales and marketing and in manufacturing, Roche said in a statement Wednesday.

Roche said an additional 800 jobs would be transferred to other Roche sites and 700 positions outsourced to third parties.

"The planned measures will enable sustained investment in research and product development and thus strengthen the group's long-term innovation capability," Roche said.

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The company anticipates restructuring costs of 2.7 billion Swiss francs from 2010 through 2012, part of which will be cash-related.

Roche reported last month that sales fell 7% from a year earlier to 11.5 billion francs.

-- Written by Joseph Woelfel

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Joseph Woelfel

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