Johnson & Johnson said today it would reduce its 120,500-member global work force by 3% to 4%, or as many as 4,800 jobs, through attrition and hiring freezes.
The cuts would focus mainly on the pharmaceutical unit, which faces a number of patent expirations over the next few years and the company's Cordis stent making unit.
J&J did not disclose exactly where the job cuts will take place.
J&J is targeting 2008 pretax savings of $1.3 billion - $1.6 billion as a result of the job reductions.
Today's announcement comes just two weeks after the company lowered its sales-growth forecast due to safety concerns surrounding its blockbuster anti-anemia drug Procrit and drug-coated heart stents.
"Throughout our history, we have always taken a thoughtful, disciplined approach to address the challenges we face," said J&J CEO William Weldon in a statement. "These actions we are taking to improve our cost structure will enable us to continue investing for future growth and profitability."