Abbott cuts 1,200 jobs, may result from falling stent market

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Abbott cuts jobs in
California and Ireland.
Source: e-Commerce Times

Abbott Laboratories has laid off 1,200 manufacturing employees, eliminating 700 jobs at a Temecula, Calif.-facility, and another 500 jobs when it closes its factory in Galway, Ireland. With the layoffs, Abbott is eliminating nearly 2 percent of its 65,000 global work force.

A spokesperson from the Abbott, Ill.-based Abbott said that market conditions necessitated the cuts, and also the closure in Ireland was not due to cost but rather excess manufacturing capacity in its vascular division sites in Galway, Tipperary and Temecula, Calif. The sites manufacture its drug-eluting stents (DES).

In a statement, the company said that "right-sizing Abbott Vascular is essential to remain a strong performer in a very competitive and important business".

In January 2007, Reuters reported that the sales of DES had fallen considerably over the previous year due to fears of safety concerns related to the products. Johnson & Johnson reported that its sales of its Cypher drug-eluting stent fell 15 percent to $580 million in the fourth quarter of 2006 and U.S. sales fell 18 percent to $280 million, according to Reuters. 
Though an FDA panel recommended to approve Abbott’s Xience and Promus stents last month, the layoffs might also be in reaction to the stent sales decline.