US drugmaker Eli Lilly to cut 3,500 jobs

Eli Lilly will cut 3,500 jobs and close some drug manufacturing and research facilities in a cost-cutting drive, the US pharmaceutical company announced Thursday.

The majority of will come through an early retirement program in the United States expected to be completed by the end of 2017.

The program will result in one-time costs of $1.2 billion that will affect third- and fourth-quarter earnings, the company said.

David Ricks, Lilly's chairman and , painted the moves as a means to allow space to focus on new medicines.

"To fully realize these opportunities and invest in the next generation of , we are taking action to streamline our organization and reduce our fixed costs around the world."

He noted that the company has launched eight medicines in the past four years and has "potential for two more by the end of next year."

Additional downsizing will come from closing a few select sites, including an animal health manufacturing facility in Iowa, and research and development offices in New Jersey and in Shanghai.

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© 2017 AFP

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