J&J Puerto Rico plans include moving some production from Europe

With 7 manufacturing operations, two logistics centers and a sizable sales force there, Johnson & Johnson ($JNJ) obviously likes what it gets from Puerto Rico. The company intends to produce from the U.S. island with an investment of more than $225 million, mostly in three Janssen Pharmaceutical plants. 

J&J says it will beef up capabilities at two plants in the town of Gurabo and one each in Manati and San Lorenzo, The Associated Press reports, creating 308 jobs in the process. Three of those are Janssen facilities and one is a medical device operation. The improvements will not only bring some new freeze-dry technology to one of its plants, but also draw production of a drug from Europe, according to a translation from the Puerto Rico publication elnuevodia.com

The publication, citing Janssen General Manager John O'Hara, said one Gurabo plant will manufacture the arthritis treatment Remicade and that production of that drug will be moved from a plant in Switzerland. The facility will be expanded to manufacture other drugs as well. Officials at J&J did not respond to a request for details, but the publication says the Gurabo plants currently manufacture the pain drug Nucynta ER, anticoagulant Xarelto and HIV drug Prezista. J&J is adding freeze-drying technology to the plant for Nucynta. In addition to Gurabo, J&J will invest in the Manati plant with the idea of finding new manufacturing processes for shortening the production cycle of its oral contraceptives.

The company's Ethicon division also will expand production of sutures, and some other medical device products, at a plant in San Lorenzo.

The announcement comes only a couple months after Johnson & Johnson said it was making technology upgrades at a plant in Las Piedras that makes Tylenol and is under a consent decree from the FDA. The new technology will result in about 200 job cuts, or about 25% of the workers at the plant. 

- here's the AP story
- here is more in Spanish from elnuevodia.com

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