Millennium Post

US pharma giant Pfizer to shut down 2 Indian manufacturing units

Mumbai: The US-based pharma major Pfizer Wednesday said it plans to shut down its manufacturing units in Chennai and Aurangabad in the current fiscal due to very significant long-term loss of product demand. The closure is expected to impact nearly 1,700 workers.

Its Irungattukottai unit in Tamil Nadu currently employs approximately 1,000 workers and Maharashtra's Aurangabad site employs approximately 700. The exact timing of the exit of these sites is yet to be determined, the drug major said.

The recommendation to exit both the sites are the result of significant loss of product demand making manufacturing at these sites unviable, the company said.

The plants had been part of its acquisition of US-based Hospira in 2015.

"Pfizer has conducted a thorough evaluation of the IKKT (Irungattukottai) and Aurangabad sites and concluded that due to the very significant long-term loss of product demand, manufacturing at these sites is not viable.

As a result, both sites will immediately cease manufacturing with the intention to exit as soon as possible in 2019. The exact timing of the exit is to be determined," a Pfizer spokesperson said.

Both plants are purely export oriented sites and do not supply products for Pfizer's India commercial operations, it said.

IKKT manufactured generic injectable cephalosporin, penems, and penicillin for the US, EU and rest of the world markets. It also produce branded Maxipime. The Aurangabad also supports IKKT by supplying penems and penicillin.

"Most of these products will be discontinued now due to the very significant long-term loss of product demand.

There are no current ongoing manufacturing transfers of these products to other sites," said a Pfizer spokesperson.

Pfizer operates five manufacturing sites in India and India will continue to be an important manufacturing location for Pfizer worldwide.

"This announcement does not affect our other Indian manufacturing sites in Goa, Visakhapatnam and our joint venture site (with Cadila Healthcare), ZHOPL (Zydus Hospira Oncology), in Gujarat.

The company's Vizag site is now being expanded into a global terminally sterilised manufacturing centre of excellence. It will cater to export markets, such as United States and eventually to Canada," the spokesperson added.

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