Pfizer to cut 400 jobs at Sanford plant

Posted May 18, 2010

— Pfizer Inc. said Tuesday it will cut 6,000 jobs, including 400 manufacturing workers at its vaccine plant in Sanford, as it trims its manufacturing capacity worldwide after acquiring smaller rival Wyeth last year.

The world's biggest drugmaker says it will cease operations at eight plants in Ireland, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. by the end of 2015, and reduce operations at six other plants over the next several years. The plants make a range of pharmaceutical and consumer health products.

The New York-based company said in April it would cut 20,000 jobs as part of the Wyeth integration.

The Sanford cuts represent almost half of the 850 people who work at the plant, but spokesman Rick Chambers said the reductions will be made over five years and aren't imminent.

Affected employees affected will receive severance packages, career or retirement advice and help searching for other jobs within and outside of the company, Chambers said.

Last November 2009, Pfizer announced it would discontinue research operations in Sanford and Research Triangle Park by 2011.

Under the plan announced Tuesday, Pfizer will cut operations at pharmaceutical plants in Caguas, Puerto Rico; Loughbeg, Ireland; and Rouses Point, N.Y. The company plans to shut down injectible medicines plants in Carolina, Puerto Rico, and Dublin, Ireland. Other shutdowns include biotechnology plants in Shanbally, Ireland, along with consumer health care plants in Richmond, Va., and Pearl River, N.Y.

Pfizer said the timing of specific exits will depend upon the complexity of operations, the amount of time required for product transfers and other business requirements.

"The restructuring of our global plant network is critical to our efforts to remain competitive so that we can continue to meet patient needs and expand the access and affordability of our medicines," Pfizer global manufacturing president Nat Ricciardi said in a statement.

In addition to Sanford, the company plans to cut jobs at plants in Guayama, Puerto Rico; Newbridge, Ireland; Andover, Mass.; Havant, U.K.; and Illertissen, Germany.

Overall, the company operates 78 plants internationally and employs about 116,000 workers.

Pfizer said it is evaluating options for its animal health manufacturing sites, and recommendations are expected by the end of June. Poultry health operations in Durham and Laurinburg aren't affected by Tuesday's announcement.


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  • azinfandgal May 19, 2010

    "Come on guys, this issue doesn't have anything to do with Obama or Bush. Quit hijacking Golo for these type of comments. Pfizer has too many sites and needs to pare them down. What is so difficult to understand?"

    Thank you for a voice of reason. Bottom line - Pfizer needs to keep costs down as much as possible to remain competitive and keep their products affordable. Our corporate tax structure is not helping this situation. Much of the Sanford plant manufacturing will be moved to Ireland where the corporate tax rate is 35% cheaper. We all need to make sure our senators and representatives including the POTUS work together to create a plan to make business profitable in THIS COUNTRY or you will see more and more or this occur in every industry regardless of whether there has been a merger or not. Wyeth was already working on a plan to significantly reduct headcount long before the Pfizer merger.

  • cdmom May 18, 2010

    Well, the eight students in my class whose parents work at Pfizer are who I am worried about right now. It's a shame.

  • fbfan May 18, 2010

    Come on guys, this issue doesn't have anything to do with Obama or Bush. Quit hijacking Golo for these type of comments. Pfizer has too many sites and needs to pare them down. What is so difficult to understand?

  • Worland May 18, 2010

    The recession didn't start until the Dem controled Congress passed their first bloated budget. I seem to remember Obama was part of that spending spree in the Senate.

    Now that the Dems are in total control of DC, everything is worse. So, I wonder whose policies were really a failure back in 2007-2008? Anyone who has taken a high school economics class would know Obama has done nothing to help the economy.

  • PanthersFan45 May 18, 2010

    For those who want to blame Obama lets look at 1 huge fact. From the time George W. Bush became president to his last day in office he created 3 million jobs total (8 years). All were wiped out with this recession that began while HE WAS IN OFFICE and the slide continued before the 1st Obama budget was even passed. It was his policies in place that helped him be the NET "0" president. It's just a fact. Some don't want to hear that , but it is what it is !!

  • Boot-the-DC-Tyrant May 18, 2010

    So much for Obama's guarantee that unemployment wouldn't go over 8% if his stimulous bill was passed. More smoke and mirrors for the regime's agenda.

  • toughcookiemom May 18, 2010

    Well geez when you have maintenance workers making like $40.00 an hour ya think that's realistic and competitive?? Lets not forget to mention they get their health insurance for free including family coverage, plus retirement, vacation ect. No wonder they are forced to cut back...greedy workers!

  • Jeremiah May 18, 2010

    "Obama is the President of the United States. And under his Administration the economy has hit and remained at rock bottom. So yes Jeremiah believe it or not many of the problems we have in America currently are a direct result of Obama being elected."

    Stop acting like a child. this isn't any one particular person's fault. And the economy had been in a nose dive years before Obama even got there. The economy is not a "direct result of obama being elected". That's just a foolish statement.

  • Nunya123 May 18, 2010

    prn13norm - so the entire housing bubble, bail out money for banks that made bad decisions (TARP), Spiraling unemployment, massive $1.3 trillion deficit in 2008, stock market crash in September of 2008, and so on were the result of a president who hadn't even been nominated yet. Nice. Might as well blame him for the plague, great flu epidemic 1918 and what ever else you want since he is reponsible for things that happened before he was even nominated.

  • WakeCountyRedNeck May 18, 2010

    The Great Recession continues ...