- additional 850 positions proposed to be cut over three years in Sweden

The global need to address AstraZeneca's overcapacity in manufacturing and product supply, announced in connection with the release of the Company's full-year results on 1 February, is now entering its next phase. In connection with the earnings report, the Company announced a proposed reduction in global headcount of approximately 3,000 over a three-year period.

Within the framework of this global productivity programme, Sweden Operations aims to achieve a 30 percent improvement in productivity in the coming three years. According to the plans, this will require a proposed reduction in the total number of positions in Sweden by an additional 850 during the coming three-year period. The number is in addition to the proposed reduction of 450 positions during 2007, already given in consultations with employees and trade unions by the end of 2006.

Employees in Sweden had been previously informed that the Company expects to be able to handle virtually all of the cuts during 2007 through natural attrition and voluntary departures. In the continued efficiency-improvement programme, it is likely that natural attrition and voluntary departures will not be sufficient. The works on handling the cuts has begun, however, the conditions for how to handle the reductions from 2008 and onwards are not yet clear.

”The Company is aware of the impact these changes will have for some employees and their families," comments Magnus Ling, Head of Human Resources at AstraZeneca in Sweden. "In consultation with the unions, we will actively provide support to the people affected."

Approximately 4,500 people are currently employed in AstraZeneca's production facilities in Sweden. The total number of employees in AstraZeneca Sweden is approximately 12,800

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AstraZeneca is a global, innovation-driven biopharmaceutical business with a primary focus on the discovery, development and commercialisation of prescription medicines. As a leader in gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, neuroscience, respiratory and inflammation, oncology and infectious disease medicines, AstraZeneca generated global revenues of US $32.8 billion in 2009. For more information please visit: