Bristol-Myers Squibb said today it will lay off 10% of its work force—totaling 4,300 jobs—and close or sell half its 27 factories in a plan to save $1.5 billion by 2010, the Wall Street Journal reports. The firm also will sell its medical-imaging division and possibly its wound-care and nutritional-supplements businesses as it focuses on drugmaking, its strongest suit.
Bristol-Myers is facing a so-called "patent cliff" as drugs for which it has market exclusivity become fair game for generic brands. "We don't have a complete answer to how to offset or mitigate that cliff," one executive said. Bristol is the latest drug company to downsize, after Pfizer and Merck, as the firms attempt to remain profitable in a changing industry.