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Pharmaceuticals

Takeda offers early retirement to workers as young as 30

Japanese drug titan targets non-R&D staff in restructuring push

Takeda acquired Irish biotech Shire  in a 2019 megadeal. It is now looking to refocus and cut expenses. (Photo by Shihoko Nakaoka)

TOKYO -- Takeda Pharmaceutical is offering early retirement to sales staff and other workers in Japan as the drugmaker strategically narrows its focus areas and slims down its workforce.

With a worldwide workforce of about 47,500, Takeda employs 5,350 in Japan, including roughly 2,100 medical representatives. It has been working on restructuring since its January 2019 megadeal to acquire Irish biotech Shire and is moving to specialize in five key business areas, such as oncology and rare diseases.

The offer will be available to employees 30 and older with at least three years of service who are in the domestic business divisions, including sales and administrative affairs, the Japanese company said Monday. Workers engaged in research and development or production are not part of the program.

Those eligible can apply from Sept. 28 to Oct. 16. Applicants will receive a special retirement bonus as well as support for finding a new job.

The cost of the retirement offer has already been taken into account in Takeda's earnings forecast for the year through March 2021, the company said, without disclosing how many employees it is targeting or are eligible.

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