Pfizer to restructure global plant network

NEW YORK Pfizer plans to lay off 6,000 of its workers and reduce manufacturing or cease manufacturing altogether at 14 plants around the world by 2015, the drug maker said Tuesday.

The plants scheduled for closure are in the United States, including Puerto Rico, and Ireland, while reductions are planned for plants in Germany, Ireland, the United Kingdom and the United States. The company said the reductions would increase manufacturing efficiency and lower costs.

“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,” Pfizer president for global manufacturing Net Ricciardi said. “Nevertheless, today’s announcement is very difficult to make because of its impact on our colleagues.”

Plants scheduled for closure over the next one and a half to five years include tablet and capsule manufacturing plants in Rouses Point, N.Y., originally a Wyeth plant, Caguas, Puerto Rico, and Loughbeg, Ireland. Injectables plants in Dublin, Ireland, and Carolina, Puerto Rico, are scheduled for closure as well. The plant in Guayama, Puerto Rico, will stop manufacturing pills, but will expand its consumer healthcare manufacturing, while pill-manufacturing sites in Newbridge, Ireland, and Illertissen, Germany, will reduce operations. The biotechnology plant in Shanbally, Ireland, will close, and the Pearl River, N.Y., plant will cease biotech manufacturing but will continue operating as a vaccines research center. Biotech plants in Havant, England, Sanford, N.C., and Andover, Mass., will experience reductions.