Teva Denies That Mass Layoffs Loom

YERUSHALAYIM -
Teva Pharmaceutical Industries in Yerushalayim. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Sources in the Teva pharmaceutical company over the weekend denied reports that it was planning to lay off thousands of workers worldwide, including hundreds in Israel. Speaking to Yisrael Hayom, the sources said that while the company was determined to make itself more efficient, this did not necessarily mean mass firings.

Among the efficiency-building steps that could be enacted, according to the sources, would be a hiring freeze, with new tasks taken on by existing staff. No layoffs have been announced, the sources said. With that, the company has not denied the possibility of layoffs, or at least layoffs by attrition.

Teva has undergone an extremely trying period in recent years, with the company spending much of its time in a failed full-out battle to protect the generic drug company’s patent on multiple sclerosis treatment Copaxone, alone responsible for a fifth of the company’s revenues in 2016. Over the past year, the company’s share price has been down by some 40 percent.

In addition, there were two acquisitions that stockholders were concerned about — generic drug business Actavis, which cost Teva $40.5 billion, a sum many investors felt was too high, and a $2.3 billion deal for Mexican drug firm Rimsa, a deal that ended up in court as both sides sued each other over allegations of fraud. The company also had to pay out more than $500 million to the U.S. government in a settlement over bribery charges.