JERUSALEM (AP) — The chief executive of Teva Pharmaceuticals says he is making "strong progress" on the company's restructuring plan, but has acknowledged the generic drug giant faces a challenging 2018.

Kare Schultz, Teva's new CEO, provided the update as the company released its fourth-quarter earnings Thursday.

Teva in December announced plans to cut 14,000 jobs, roughly one-quarter of its work force, in a broad restructuring as it confronts lower prices for generics, the expiration of patents on its core Copaxone drug and a more than $30 billion debt load.

Speaking to analysts, Schultz said roughly half the layoffs should be complete by July, with the remainder taking place by the end of 2019. "Everything is on plan. Everything is on target," he said.

Teva forecast lower revenue for 2018.

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