Teva Pharmaceutical Industries has unveiled plans to reduce its global workforce by some 10% (about 5,000 employees) as part of an accelerated cost-cutting programme.

The Israeli drugmaker announced a restructuring programme in December and is now giving details of the move. The company now expects to realise $2.0 billion in annual cost savings by the end of 2017, compared to a previous guidance of $1.5-$2.0 billion, and 50% of that should be achieved by the end of 2014. Pretax costs for the restructuring will be in the region of $1.1 billion.

Teva expects to reinvest part of the initial savings in "high-potential programmes", including the development of the company's complex generics and specialty pharmaceutical pipeline, which includes more than 30 late-stage projects. Most of the aforementioned job cuts will be completed by the end of next year and the company will partake in "selective trimming of assets that no longer fit its core business or are not critical to its future".

Chief executive Jeremy Levin (pictured) said Teva is "managing its operations to achieve high levels of effectiveness in the short term, while pursuing opportunities for the long term". He added that "the accelerated cost reduction programme will strengthen our organisation while improving our competitive position in the global marketplace".

The cuts come as Teva prepares for the loss of US patent protection on its multiple sclerosis blockbuster Copaxone (glatiramer acetate). In August this year, certain patents were invalidated so competition to the drug, which had second-quarter sales of $1.07 billion, could arrive in May 2014, a year earlier than expected.