In a statement, GlaxoSmithKline explains the cutbacks being made in research and development at Research Triangle Park and other locations.

The complete statement as provided by Mary Anne Rhyne, Director of U.S. External Communications, follows:

“We have started sharing with GSK employees the details of a restructuring program we announced at our third quarter results (Oct. 22). The aim of the program is to improve performance by taking unnecessary complexity out of our global operations and establish a smaller, more focused organization operating at lower costs to support our future portfolio. The restructuring will deliver approximately £1bn/$1.6 billion of new annual cost savings over the next three years across our global commercial operations, support functions, R&D and manufacturing units.

“The changes are driven primarily by market changes, evolving customer needs and the overall US business environment. The details are still unfolding, but we expect as part of this restructure existing roles will be lost in our US R&D and commercial organizations by the end of 2015.

“In R&D, the majority of jobs affected are in Research Triangle Park (RTP), NC, as we consolidate our geographic footprint and locate the majority of our R&D organization into two major centers– in the Philadelphia area and Stevenage (UK). Some R&D roles will be relocated to the Philadelphia area and some staff will be offered relocation. We will be working with local employers to support staff securing re-employment.

“In the US, we are reshaping and reducing the size of our commercial and R&D operations (now 17,000 employees) to be more agile to flex with shifting market demands. Cuts are not being made across the board but are strategic, focused changes to allow GSK to operate more efficiently. This is not a change in our strategy, which has helped us deliver more new medicines than any other company in the industry in the past 18 months. This is a rescaling of work to reflect market forces that were anticipated but that have accelerated and are affecting the entire industry.

“The reduction of jobs in our US Pharmaceuticals business will affect employees in Philadelphia, RTP and the field. Retail sales teams focused on launching new medicines to the market will largely not be affected. Our proposed changes to R&D will sharpen the focus in discovery and development and reduce funding in certain areas of the pipeline.”