Drug Company Takeda Cuts 480 Jobs and Relocates Hundreds More

Medicine, tablet, vitamin and drug in various shape

Restructuring Leads to Upheaval, Job Losses for U.S. Workers

Takeda Pharmaceuticals, a Japanese drugmaker with U.S. headquarters in suburban Illinois, is instituting a major reorganization project that has led to hundreds of jobs being lost, while hundreds of others are being forced to relocate from its U.S. headquarters in Chicago to the Boston area.

The move is a result of the company’s focus on cancer and other specialty drugs, pivoting away from primary-care pharmaceuticals.

The company employs about 5,000 U.S. workers, with about 2,150 of those employees now based in Boston and Cambridge, Massachusetts, where the biotech industry has developed as a strong foothold.

Reports have claimed that as many as 600 Deerfield-based research and development employees and 150 vaccines employees were required to move as a result of the reorganization and pivot.


This is the second major jobs shakeup in the past few months. In March, 480 sales people and managers in field offices around the country were laid off.

The affected employees were part of the company’s move away from its primary care business, which includes drugs that treat gastrointestinal problems. The company has since pivoted towards areas that it believes can be more profitable, like oncology.

The changing landscape of the health industry has impacted Takeda. In the past, smaller practices were likely to purchase from pharma companies like Takeda, but as they have either been eaten up by larger hospitals outright or have partnered to conduct their private practices from the same building, the need for sales reps has dwindled.

Takeda has also run into a recent spate of financial troubles in the recent past, leading to thousands of layoffs over the past few years.

Pharmaceutical companies in general have been under scrutiny as highly publicized price hikes and legal breaches have made headlines in recent years, putting more pressure on the industry as a whole.

President Donald Trump vowed to reduce pharmaceutical prices during the campaign, while Democratic-primary hopeful Bernie Sanders caused a massive share price loss when he tweeted about a proposed price hike for life-saving medicine.



Takeda shrinks its HQ workforce in suburban Chicago as it adds in Boston,” Modern Healthcare, July 18, 2017.