Pfizer closing two UK manufacturing plants: 370 jobs at risk

By Dan Stanton contact

- Last updated on GMT

The aseptic facility in Park Royal, London was added to pfizer when it bought Hospira in 2015. Image: GoogleStreetview
The aseptic facility in Park Royal, London was added to pfizer when it bought Hospira in 2015. Image: GoogleStreetview

Related tags: Pharmacology, Monoclonal antibodies

Pfizer has earmarked two sites in the UK for closure, including an ex-Hospira aseptic plant in London it says would need ‘significant investment’ to remain open.

The Big Pharma firm has locations in London, Sandwich, Walton Oaks, Cambridge, Hurley and Havant, but announced yesterday it is shuttering its cold-chain packaging and distribution at the latter, while an aseptic services facility in North London is also set to close by May 2017.

The Park Royal, North London site employs around 100 workers and was taken over by Pfizer following the firm’s $17bn (€15bn) acquisition of Hospira in September last year​.

“As part of the integration of Hospira and Pfizer, a thorough evaluation was conducted,”​ a Pfizer spokeswoman told in-Pharmatechnologist.com.

“The decision to close the site was based on the fact that the Hospira UK Ltd (Aseptic Services) Park Royal site in North London is an aging facility which will require significant investment in the near future and due to the expiration of the building lease.”

The site is a pharmaceutical compounding business that manufactures both patient-specific and batch products for different products including solutions for chemotherapy, centralised IV additive service (CIVAS), monoclonal antibodies (mAbs), pain management and parenteral nutrition.

“The service will continue for a number of months to ensure our customers and their patients have the necessary time to pursue alternative means of supply,”​ we were told. “Customers with existing contracts are being informed so that they are able to find a new service supplier without any disruption to supply.”

She added all 100 jobs will “be impacted by the proposed site exit, however colleagues are expected to have the opportunity to be considered for a limited number of positions elsewhere within Pfizer.”

Havant

A further 270 jobs are at risk in Havant, Portsmouth where Pfizer is looking to close its cold-chain packaging and distribution site by the end of 2020.

“Our preference is to sell the site as an ongoing pharmaceutical manufacturing facility.  However the market for this type of property is weak so we need to be realistic about our ability to successfully sell it,”​ Pfizer told us.

“Our priority at this time is to support affected colleagues. Where possible we will try and mitigate against job losses.”

Earlier this year, a facility in Boulder, Colorado became the first casualty of the potential $1bn of operational synergies​ expected by Pfizer after the Hospira deal.

Following Pfizer’s $68bn megamerger with Wyeth​ in 2009, the firm’s manufacturing network grew to 78 sites worldwide, a figure which had been reduced to 55 by the end of 2014​. The addition of Hospira added 15 more production sites, and an additional 19,000 staff.

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