US pharmaceuticals giant Pfizer is looking to outsource up to 30% of its manufacturing, with much of it going to Asia, the firm has announced.
The New York-based company currently outsources about 15% of its manufacturing.
But the group aims to double that figure as part of cost-cutting measures, according to Martin MacKay, head of Pfizer’s global research and development.
The move follows Pfizer’s announcement at the beginning of the year that it would shut down manufacturing sites in Brooklyn, New York and Omaha, Nebraska, and sell a third manufacturing site in Feucht, Germany.
These cuts, and closing several research sites, were part of the companywide plan to cut its worldwide workforce by 10%, or 10,000 jobs, and save £972m.
Like other pharmaceutical companies, Pfizer is facing increased competition from generic drug makers.
Its top product, Lipitor, a drug that lowers cholesterol, had roughly £6.3bn in sales last year, but its sales growth has slowed, partly due to the availability of generic versions of other cholesterol drugs.
And the drug will lose patent protection as early as 2010, which will expose it to direct generic competition.
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