Pfizer to shutter two more plants in India

US pharmaceutical giant Pfizer Inc has confirmed plans to shutter its two Indian facilities, including a plant in Aurangabad (Maharashtra) and another in Irungattukottai (Tamil Nadu) this year, rendering hundreds of employees jobless.

The decision to close the two plants, which came into Pfizer’s fold through its international acquisition of Hospira, comes three years after the pharma MNC sold its own plant in Thane.
“Pfizer has conducted a thorough evaluation of the IKKT (Irungattukottai) and Aurangabad sites and concluded that due to the significant long-term loss of product demand, manufacturing at these sites is not viable. As a result, Pfizer is announcing that both the Aurangabad and IKKT sites will immediately cease manufacturing with the intention to exit both sites as soon as possible in 2019,” said a Pfizer spokesperson.
The IKKT and Aurangabad plants employ around 1,000 and 700 people, respectively. Reports quoting trade union sources said employees in Aurangabad have been informed of the decision, but compensation has not been discussed.
“Our focus is on our colleagues impacted by this decision and we are committed to keeping colleagues informed of the site exit process,” Phizer said in its statement.
The IKKT plant used to manufacture generic injectable cephalosporin, penems and penicillin for the US, EU and other global markets. It also produced branded Maxipime.
Aurangabad supports IKKT by supplying penems and penicillin. Until recently, both sites also provided products to Orchid Pharmaceuticals, the company said.
Last year, the IKKT plant had “paused” production after it came in for a regulatory rap from the USFDA. Both plants are export-oriented sites and do not supply products to Pfizer’s operations in India.
The company also has other manufacturing facilities in Goa and Visakhapatnam, and its joint venture site in Ahmedabad, all of which will remain operational, according to the company.