Novartis on Thursday began laying off people at its plant east of Lincoln.
The company said in a statement that it notified 72 people that their positions had been eliminated. Another 41 positions that had been open will not be filled. The positions were in technical operations, engineering and quality.
The job cuts are part of a plan the Swiss drugmaker announced last month to reduce operations in Lincoln and cut 300 jobs from its workforce of 750. Another round of about 100 layoffs is planned for early 2014, with the final 100 layoffs planned for by mid- to late 2015.
Novartis said the plant at 10401 U.S. 6, where production has been shut down since December 2011, will now make only solid and powder forms of Excedrin, Theraflu and the animal drug Sentinel.
The move came after another inspection by the Food and Drug Administration that noted continuing problems with quality control and complaint resolution, something that has been an ongoing issue at the plant and led to the shutdown 18 months ago.
Novartis said those losing their jobs will be offered financial assistance that includes severance, a retraining allowance and a continuing company contribution to their health and dental insurance.
The company said in its statement that it has hired an outplacement assistance firm to help those laid off find new jobs.