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Forest Labs begins layoffs as cost-cutting measure

A Forest Laboratories facility on Commack Road in

A Forest Laboratories facility on Commack Road in Commack on Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2014. (Credit: Bloomberg News / Craig Warga)

Forest Laboratories Inc. has begun a cost-cutting effort that could lead to the elimination of 10 to 20 percent of its workforce on Long Island, according to a company spokesman.

The Manhattan-based company, which is known for developing branded prescription drugs, employs more than 600 people in its Commack and Hauppauge locations.

The company spokesman declined to give exact figures for the number of jobs that would be lost locally. Companies in New York with at least 50 full-time employees have to file a WARN notice with the state labor department when they plan a mass layoff or closing.

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The staffing cuts are part of Project Rejuvenate, a plan announced in December to reduce costs and streamline operations across the company's various locations. They are unrelated to the recent announcement that the company would be sold for $25 billion to Parsippany, N.J.-based drugmaker Actavis PLC, the spokesman said.

In 2011, Forest Labs was approved to receive $2.16 million in tax breaks over 10 years from Suffolk County for a $40 million project to consolidate its buildings in Suffolk -- most of which the company was not utilizing -- and the promise to maintain 679 jobs locally and to add 10.

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