AstraZeneca has announced plans to eliminate hundreds of jobs due to generic competition now facing some of its best-selling drugs, including Nexium. The job cuts will come next year, and will be scattered throughout the U.S., including AstraZeneca’s North America commercial headquarters.
In 2014, Nexium generated $3.655 billion for AstraZeneca. During the first nine months of this year, Nexium sales fell 19% from Q1–Q3 2015, to $1.541 billion.
“We continue to face loss of exclusivity impacts from many of our legacy products and work to compete in an ever-changing external environment,” the company said in a statement.
The AstraZeneca job cuts will involve field-based sales and field-based non-sales positions. The U.S. headquarters in Delaware will see about 120 losses. According to USA Today, Delaware is expected to take the largest hit among the company’s U.S. operations when the layoffs take effect in February.
In addition to generic competition, AstraZeneca is also facing a growing number of product liability lawsuits involving Nexium and serious kidney complications. Legal claims started to mount earlier this year, following the publication of several studies suggesting that proton pump inhibitors like Nexium may increase a patient’s risk for chronic kidney disease, acute kidney injury, kidney failure and other renal problems.
Other proton pump inhibitor manufacturers, including those behind Prilosec and Prevacid, are facing similar claims. In October, a motion was as filed with the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation to centralize all such federal filings in a single jurisdiction for the purposes of coordinated pretrial proceedings. Plaintiffs who filed the motion contend that thousands of proton pump inhibitor lawsuits could ultimately be filed on behalf of patients with severe kidney injuries, and contend that centralization before a single judge will promote judicial efficiency and preserve the resources of the court, parties and witnesses involved in the litigation. However, AstraZeneca opposes centralization, as do several other defendants
Nexium cases are now being filed by the attorneys at Bernstein Liebhard LLP on behalf of individuals who may have developed renal complications due to its use. To learn how you can file a Nexium lawsuit of your own, please call (888) 994-8177.