January 9, 2019 / 3:11 PM / 2 months ago

Pfizer to shut two manufacturing plants in India

FILE PHOTO: The logo of U.S. pharmaceutical corporation Pfizer Inc. is seen at a branch in Zurich, Switzerland October 2, 2018. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann

(Reuters) - U.S. drugmaker Pfizer Inc (PFE.N) said on Wednesday it was shutting down two manufacturing plants in India that make generic injectables like penicillin as a response to falling demand.

Indian financial newspaper Business Standard reported here the news on Tuesday, saying over 1,700 employees would be impacted by the closure of the two factories in the states of Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra.

The factories employ nearly 6 percent of Pfizer’s global manufacturing workforce.

“Pfizer has conducted a thorough evaluation of the ... sites in India and concluded that due to the very significant long term loss of product demand, manufacturing at these sites is not viable,” the company said in an emailed statement.

Pfizer acquired the sites as part of its $15 billion (£11.7 billion) purchase of Hospira Inc in 2015, to boost its portfolio of generic injectable drugs and copies of biotech medicines.

The plant in Chennai makes generic injectable cephalosporin, penems and penicillin. The Maharashtra plant supplied the Chennai unit with certain products.

Both plants do not manufacture products for the India market, Pfizer said, adding that it is expanding operations in its Visakhapatnam facility in south India.

(The story corrects the third paragraph to show plants employ nearly 6 percent of manufacturing workforce, not total workforce)

Reporting by Tamara Mathias in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur

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