Pfizer axes lay-off plans and creates new jobs

A Pfizer facility in Ireland that was set to close has now been taken off the list of facilities no longer needed and is now adding several dozen jobs.

Seamus Fives, site leader for the plant in Little Island plant in County Cork which roughly has around 180 workers, stated that potentially 40 people will be added to the Cork plant as well as a nearby facility in Ringaskiddy by the end of the year.

The plant, which makes the API for Lipitor and other drugs, was put on a list by Pfizer in 2013 of facilities that would close in August 2014 in the wake of losing exclusivity for long time top seller cholesterol manager Lipitor. However, the plant was saved, as global demand for Lipitor held up better than expected. Earlier this year, Pfizer said the closure had been cancelled for the foreseeable future.

Although the sales of drug Lipitor have decreased considerably from the $10 billion the drug generated in 2011, the year it lost patent exclusivity, its reputation has kept it strong in some global markets along with strength from two cancer drugs which has helped keep the facility open.

In Pfizer’s plant in India, the situation has improved for the workers who had expected to lose their jobs. Last month, the drug maker said it had would sell the 55-year-old plant in Thane to Vidhi Research and Development and all employees would transfer to the new owners.

The plant at one time had about 210 employees, but about 130 reportedly took buyouts last year when the drug maker decided to wind down operations in India, announcing in July that the plant was to be closed by the end of September.

As Pfizer constantly evaluates its manufacturing network, it has sold or closed a number of plants around the globe in recent years. It only just announced plans to sell a plant in India that was slated to be closed.

Yasmita Kumar

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