Pfizer says 140 jobs will be lost at an Australian manufacturing plant as the firm continues to review its global network in light of expired patents.
The plant in Sydney has been earmarked to close by the end of 2015 according to spokesperson Helen Corcoran who told in-Pharmatechnologist.com the solid oral dose products made there “will be transitioned to other Pfizer global manufacturing sites over time.” She added that 140 employees at the site will lose their jobs.
The Syndney closure will not impact Pfizer's other manufacturing plant in Australia - a facility in the Western city Perth that produces sterile injectables - according to site leader Justin Mathie, who said the move is part of the firm's efforts to assess its “network and capacity in response to changing global demand as a result of the patent expiry of a number of key medicines."
In efforts to achieve greater efficiencies and reduce over-capacity, the company announced in 2010 it was looking to cut 6,000 jobs, close eight plants worldwide and scale back production by 2015 as part of a major restructure.
Earlier this year the Pharma Giant announced it was divesting a Cork, Ireland facility that had predominantly manufactured the one-time best-seller anti-cholesterol drug Lipitor, following a 55% drop in year-to-year sales of the drug, once exclusivity was lost in 2011.
On top of patents expiring and over-capacity, the “industry is seeing a trend away from high-volume medicines, to high value but lower volume medicines” Mathie said, which “requires more flexible manufacturing facilities and a different overall approach to manufacturing.”
One example of Pfizer’s response to a changing industry is the firm’s recent collaboration with GEA Process Engineering and G-CON Manufacturing to develop an oral solid dose processing platform. The portable and modular units can offer substantially lower costs to traditional facilities - the companies involved told in-Pharmatechnologist.com - and have the potential to “transform” the industry.