Pfizer is to close its manufacturing plant in Sandwich, UK, after 53 years, it has been announced.
The company, which makes the cholesterol-lowering drug Lipitor® (atorvastatin), said it will stop all operations at the Sandwich site, with the loss of more than 400 jobs.
But it says the move will not harm its research and development programme, as its European R&D headquarters will remain at the facility, which employs some 3,600 staff in total.
The base is the group’s key site for drug developments concerning antiretrovirals, allergies, respiratory conditions, genito-urinary problems and vaccines.
Pfizer has pledged to give staff extra training to help them find work within the company and elsewhere, but said a total of 420 jobs will be lost.
The plant currently produces active ingredients in strictly monitored conditions for use in human and animal medicines, but Pfizer has been cutting back operations there since January 2005.
The move forms part of the company’s ongoing plans to consolidate its worldwide manufacturing operations following the acquisition of Pharmacia in 2003.
Tony Maddaluna, vice-president of Pfizer global manufacturing, said: “It is with regret we announce our decision to end manufacturing operations in Sandwich after 53 years.”
Copyright © PA Business 2007