The week has ended badly for a number of workers in the US pharmaceutical industry, with Endo Health Solutions, Impax Laboratories and Zogenix all announcing lay-offs.

The biggest cuts will come at Endo which hopes to reap annual cost savings of $325 million through a restructuring which includes reducing headcount by 15% worldwide, with some 700 jobs to go. It is looking at selling the HealthTronics business, which provides urological services and products and also announced plans to explore alternatives for its branded pharmaceutical early-stage discovery platform,

Only last week the firm's subsidiary Endo Pharmaceuticals received a third complete response letter from the US Food and Drug Administration for its long-acting testosterone injection Aveed for the treatment of hypogonadism. Its big-selling transdermal lidocaine patch Lidoderm goes off-patent in September.

Meanwhile, Impax has cut 110 jobs, mostly in manufacturing "in response to the need to reduce expenses and adapt to changing market conditions". The reduction affects about 10% of the generic specialist's workforce and Impax put much of the blame down to failure get marketing approval for its Parkinson's disease drug Rytary, an extended-release capsule of carbidopa and levodopa.

The FDA issued a CRL earlier this year citing problems at Impax' Hayward, California facility and at the end of April GlaxoSmithKline terminated its participation in the Rytary programme. Also Impax has transferred production to its more cost efficient Taiwan plant,

As for  Zogenix, it is cutting 55 jobs, or 37% of its staff, to "extend its cash runway", while it tries to get FDA approval for its New Drug Application  for Zohydro ER (hydrocodone bitartrate extended release capsules) for chronic pain, to secure a partner for Relday, a once-monthly injectable of risperidone for schizophrenia, and to out-license its DosePro needle-free delivery technology.