Novo Nordisk to cut 250 jobs in the United States

FILE PHOTO: A Novo Nordisk employee controls a machine at an insulin production line in a plant in Kalundborg, Denmark November 4, 2013. REUTERS/Fabian Bimmer/File Photo

COPENHAGEN (Reuters) - Denmark's Novo Nordisk NOVOB.CO will cut around 250 jobs in the United States, a spokesman told Reuters on Friday, adding the drugmaker would also hire an as-yet undetermined number of staff to new positions.

The diabetes specialist, which employs more than 42,000 people in 79 countries, has seen growth slow due to pricing pressures in the United States, where it makes about half its revenue.

Novo Nordisk will next year have to pay higher rebates on U.S. healthcare scheme Medicare, the spokesman said.

A hundred of the planned staff reductions are from back-office positions in the company’s U.S. headquarters in Princeton, New Jersey, while the remaining 150 are among diabetes treatment support positions, he said.

The company said last week it would lay off 400 staff in Denmark and China to divert funding towards investment in biological and technological innovation.

It announced 1,000 job cuts in 2016 as competition among insulin producers increased and prices were squeezed by pharmacy benefit managers who administer drug programs for employers and health plans.

Reporting by Emil Gjerding Nielsen; Editing by Mark Potter