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Business

Pfizer to axe 6,000 jobs

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2010-05-18

Pfizer, the world's biggest drug maker, announced Tuesday that it is closing eight manufacturing sites internationally and reducing operations at another six, eliminating almost 20 percent of its workforce as part of a major restructuring.

AFP - Pfizer, the world's biggest drug maker, said Tuesday it would eliminate 6,000 jobs worldwide as it restructures manufacturing after buying smaller rival Wyeth last year.

Pfizer said it would close eight manufacturing sites in Ireland, the United States and the US territory of Puerto Rico by the end of 2015 as part of its realignment of the combined networks of Pfizer and Wyeth.

Operations will be reduced at six other plants in Britain, Germany, Ireland, Puerto Rico and the US, the New York-based company said in a statement.

"The restructuring of our global plant network is critical to our efforts to remain competitive so that we can continue to meet patient needs and expand the access and affordability of our medicines," said Nat Ricciardi, president of Pfizer manufacturing.

"We must continue to adjust to the fast-changing and extremely competitive environment in which we operate. That means... reducing our manufacturing capacity so that we can position Pfizer for the next phase of growth across biopharmaceuticals and our diversified business portfolio," he said.

Pfizer, the maker of Viagra to treat erectile dysfunction and Lipitor to lower cholesterol, said the restructuring was the result of a six-month evaluation of sites that manufacture aseptic, or injectable, medicines; solid-dose and biotechnology medicines; and consumer healthcare products.

The timing of specific exits will depend upon the complexity of operations, among other factors, the company said, adding it would try to find buyers of the sites "in an effort to preserve jobs and minimize the impact to communities."

Pfizer currently has 78 manufacturing sites and employs about 33,000 people worldwide.

In the US, the company plans to end manufacturing at five sites: Caguas and Carolina in Puerto Rico; Rouses Point and Pearl River in New York; and Richmond, Virginia.

Three sites in Ireland will be exited, in Dublin, Loughbeg and Shanbally.

Pfizer said it plans to reduce plants in Guayama, Puerto Rico; Andover, Massachusetts; Sanford, North Carolina; Newbridge, Ireland; Havant, Britain; and Illertissen, Germany.

Pfizer's acquisition of Wyeth in October 2009 in a 68-billion-dollar deal reinforced its position as the world's biggest drugmaker as it prepares for the expiration of patents on its blockbuster drugs and as some of its key drugs face competition from generic manufacturers.

Pfizer shares were up 0.62 percent at 16.21 dollars on the New York Stock Exchange.

Date created : 2010-05-18

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