Abbott’s (NYSE:ABT) pharmaceutical spinout AbbVie (NYSE:ABBV) plans to lay off much of its heart drug salesforce as patents covering the drugs are set to expire, an anonymous source told Bloomberg Businessweek.
AbbVie may cut as many as a few hundred workers as it shifts its focus to specialty medications amid growing competition from generic drug-makers, according to the report.
The company declined to comment on the report, but AbbVie said earlier this year that it was expecting to shift some of its strategies as some of its drugs patents expire, including exclusive rights to the TriCor cholesterol medication, which expires this year.
In 2011 Abbott announced its plan to spin out its pharma biz, saying it would keep the Abbott brand for its diversified medical businesses.
Chairman & CEO Miles White later told shareholders in a letter that the split "reflects long-term changes in the healthcare market that have led us over time to create distinctly different business models."
ABBV shares were up 2.4% to to $42.45, adding another 5¢ in after-hours trading.