The worldwide scorn directed at those closest toMichael Jackson
in his final days may have extended to the drug Propofol and its Irvine-based maker, which announced it is laying off 200 employees this year after having already let go 70 workers.
Teva Pharmaceuticals maintains it already discontinued the hypnotic drug--not because of Jackson's death, but because Propofol was hard to manufacture, the company got little or no profit from it and there were pending lawsuits tied to it.
Risks from the nonmedical use of Propofol were greatly exposed when the Los Angeles County coroner concluded in August 2009 that the King of Pop died from a mixture of Propofol--nicknamed "Milk of Amnesia"--and the benzodiazepine drug Lorazepam. Ten bottles of Propofol were found in Jackson's home.
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Propofol and Teva, which is headquartered in Israel, have had a rocky relationship. The company previously halted production and recalled some Propofol in 2009 after 41 patients fell ill with flu-like symptoms. That fueled several of the lawsuits.
Teva announced it will kill 195 of its Irvine jobs by Feb. 6, according to an Orange County Register report.
"Our Irvine, California, facility has been under a voluntary manufacturing and distribution hold since April 2010," said Denise Bradley, Teva spokeswoman in a company statement. "Prior to this reduction, we have not laid off any employees as a result of this voluntary production hold. The jobs that are being eliminated are all various production jobs and support staff at the facility."'
They should moonwalk out to their cars.