Roche Group to cut 157 workers, including dozens locally

Roche Group, one of central Indiana's largest employers, is cutting 42 positions from its north-side campus, citing competitive pressures in the diabetes care market.

The Swiss-based company confirmed Wednesday morning the cuts are part of a U.S. restructuring that will result in eliminating 157 positions across the country. The cuts will affect 133 full-time workers and 24 contractors.

Roche has nearly 3,500 workers in central Indiana, including almost 1,200 who work in the Diabetes Care unit, making kits that patients use to measure their sugar levels. The job reductions all came from Diabetes Care.

"Roche has made this decision to address the competitive diabetes care market and secure the long-term viability of the business," the company said in a written statement.

Employees were given a 60-day notice and will receive a severance, the company said.

"We are fully committed to supporting these employees in identifying other positions within Diabetes Care or the wider Roche organization where possible," the company said in an email to IBJ.

The market for diabetes products and medicines has become sharply competitive in recent months, under pressure from payers to reduce prices. That has resulted in numerous drugmakers, such as Novo Nordisk and Sanofi, laying off thousands of workers. 

The layoffs come just five months after the chairman of Roche Group, Christoph Franz, visited the Indianapolis corporate campus to celebrate the completion of the first phase of a $300 million development over the next decade. The phase included the five new buildings, upgrades to IT infrastructure and investments in diabetes care manufacturing technology at the company's Hague Road facilities, off Interstate 69 at the East 96th Street exit.

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