Drug-making giant American Home Products Corp. said it will eliminate nearly 3,000 jobs worldwide, or about 6% of its work force, in a move to boost sagging profit and sales. The brunt of the cuts will be felt at Wyeth-Ayerst International, the company’s pharmaceutical division that makes the popular estrogen pill Premarin. The unit is based in St. Davids, Pa., and has two research facilities in New Jersey. The company has been plagued with thousands of lawsuits over its recalled diet drugs, Pondimin, half of the popular fen-phen combination, and Redux, as well as its birth control device Norplant. An AHP spokesman said the lawsuits had nothing to do with the layoffs. About 1,000 people at its research and production facilities in New Jersey will lose their jobs this year and another 1,000 will be discharged over the next four years. Some 500 vacancies within the unit will not be filled. Other cuts will be made at American Cyanamid, the agricultural products division based in Parsippany, N.J. Shares of AHP rose 6 cents to close at $65.81 on the New York Stock Exchange. The cuts were announced after the close of trading.
American Home Products to Cut 3,000 Jobs