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fizer will be slashing 2,400 jobs, an anonymous source has told the Wall Street Journal.

The “confirmation” follows rumour and speculation as the world’s largest drugmaker moves to downsize and refocus in the wake of looming patent expiries.

The job cuts are believed to affect sales representatives and middle managers and follows company slimming over the past two years where about 15,000 positions have been dissolved. Just last week Pfizer announced 800 research jobs would be lost.

Pfizer declined to comment or confirm the news. However, it is expected that the job cuts may be announced in the company’s fourth-quarter earnings, which will be published on 28 January.