Medical devices companies in 2012: The year of the layoff

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The medical device industry had a lot of big stories during the last year, including tales of recalls, lawsuits and CEO swapping, but the single factor that drove more big headlines than any other was news of layoffs.

Some of the biggest companies in the industry announced significant cuts in 2012, amounting to about 7,000 reported layoffs, by some estimates.

Whether a result of restructuring, post-acquisition workforce cuts or attempts to cut costs ahead of the medical device tax, layoffs were a constant reminder that the industry was amid upheaval.

Check out MassDevice.com’s collection of some of the biggest of the big layoff stories of 2012:

10. Abbott to cut 700 jobs in the U.S., Puerto Rico

Abbott announced that it would cut 700 jobs in the U.S. and Puerto Rico, including about 200 in Lake County, Ill., and about 300 in Temecula, Calif.

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9. Invacare announces layoffs in Ohio following FDA injunction

Medical device maker Invacare laid off nearly 150 from an Ohio manufacturing facility, citing a "decline in production" following an injunction agreement with the FDA.

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8. St. Jude exec: Layoffs not directly tied to medical device tax

St. Jude Medical’s John Heinmiller, a vice president at the medical device company, downplayed the notion that job cuts were tied to the medical device tax, calling the levy one of many price pressures facing the business.

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7. Covidien denies layoffs tied to device tax

Contrary to a widely circulated statement, Covidien’s decision to cut workers and shift production overseas was not motivated by the impending medical device tax, the company said.

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6. Are Medtronic’s CRM layoffs a sign of a prolonged slump?

Medtronic confirmed that it would cut about 220 jobs from its cardiac rhythm management business, a division that saw a 9% decrease in the company’s 3rd quarter.

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5. Layoffs: Medical device companies cut 2,000 jobs in 2 months

Cost-cutting moves by medical device companies resulted in the loss of more than 2,000 jobs over 2 months.

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4. Medtronic to cut another 500 jobs in hopes of saving $125M per year

Medtronic gets half-way through a 2012 restructuring plan, expecting to cut another 500 positions in hopes of saving up to $125 million per year.

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3. Stryker on track for 1,000 layoffs ahead of medtech tax

Stryker stays on track for the 5% workforce reduction that the company said it would conduct before the end of 2012 in anticipation of a $150 million tab for compliance with the medical device tax taking effect January 1.

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2. Device tax spurs Hill-Rom to lay off 200

Hill-Rom Holdings said it planned to lay off 200 workers, or 3% of its workforce, in part due to the looming medical device tax.

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1. Zimmer axes jobs to cut costs ahead of med-tech tax

Zimmer planned cuts and outsourcing at its Warsaw, Ind., headquarters partially to offset the impending burden of a 2.3% medical device tax.

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