The UK’s biggest drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline is remaining tight-lipped over reports that it will be announcing a substantial round of job cuts alongside its financial results this Thursday.

The rumour mill went into overdrive over the weekend on speculation that the drug giant was planning to unveil thousands of job losses later this week, hot on the heels of AstraZeneca’s announcement last week of a cull of 15,000 positions by 2013 to help ensure it remains competitive amid difficult market conditions.

A spokesman told PharmaTimes UK News that GlaxoSmithKline will indeed be making an announcement regarding its ongoing restructuring programme with its financial results on Thursday, but declined to comment on whether any job losses will be involved.

The company first announced plans to restructure in 2007 in an attempt to make annual cost savings of £750 million a year by 2010, in part to help counter growing generic competition to big-earners in its portfolio.

According to the Times Online, GSK said cuts are not being fuelled by the current recession but are instead part of “a broader restructuring in the global drugs industry”.